Phillies, Antonio Bastardo avoid arbitration

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies have avoided arbitration with reliever Antonio Bastardo by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million contract.

Bastardo requested $2.5 million and the Phillies countered at $1.675 million, so they’re settling slightly below the midpoint.

Bastardo’s season ended in early August when he received a 50-game suspension for Biogenesis involvement. He threw 43 innings with a 2.32 ERA and 47/21 K/BB ratio before the suspension and has a 3.12 ERA in 153 innings for the Phillies since the beginning of 2011.

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.