Yankees sign one-year, $7.15 million contract with Phil Hughes, avoiding arbitration

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From beat writer Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News comes word that the Yankees have avoided arbitration with right-hander Phil Hughes by agreeing to a one-year, $7.15 million contract.

Hughes is in his third year of arbitration eligiblily. He made $2.7 million in 2011 and $3.2 million in 2012. If the Yankees don’t lock him at some point this season, he will hit free agency in the fall.

Hughes posted a decent 4.23 ERA and 1.27 WHIP across 32 starts last summer, fanning 165 batters and issuing only 46 walks. The 26-year-old owns a 4.39 career ERA and a 1.29 career WHIP through his first six major league seasons.

Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.