Tigers send top prospect Nick Castellanos to Triple-A

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Nick Castellanos had a good spring, but the 21-year-old top prospect never really had a chance of making the Tigers and yesterday they assigned him to Triple-A.

Castellanos has ranked among Baseball America‘s top-100 prospects for three straight seasons, rating No. 21 overall this year, and while there wasn’t a place for him on the Opening Day roster Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that “he shouldn’t be [at Triple-A] for long.”

Castellanos has shifted from third base to the outfield and specifically now left field, and while very promising he’s played just 79 games above Single-A and zero games at Triple-A. And last season he struggled at Double-A, hitting .264 with a .678 OPS and 76/14 K/BB ratio. He was 20 years old, so that’s hardly an indictment of his long-term potential, but if the Tigers think Castellanos is ready to make a big-league impact in the second half that would be plenty fast.

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.