The Giants and Joaquin Arias reach a two-year deal to avoid arbitration

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Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area reports that the Giants and Joaquin Arias have avoided arbitration, reaching a deal on a two-year contract. The price tag: $2.66 million.

The utilityman Arias has played with the Giants for two years, putting up a line of  .270/.296/.369. He’s at .272/.302/.367 for his six-year career. He’ll spend the next two years backing up third, short and second base in San Francisco and he can spot at first base if need be.

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.