Brendan Ryan expected to be activated Tuesday

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Brendan Ryan was forced to begin the season on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his back, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star-Ledger this evening that the plan calls for him to be activated tomorrow. The 32-year-old is expected to take the roster spot of right-hander Michael Pineda, who will be placed on the disabled list with a teres major muscle strain now that his 10-game suspension is over.

Progress for Ryan was slow, but he began a minor league rehab assignment last weekend and hit .320 (8-for-25) with two RBI and a 4/5 K/BB ratio over seven games between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Of course, anything the Yankees get out of him offensively will be considered a bonus, as the .237 hitter is a glove-first player in every sense of the term.

Ryan’s return could present an interesting scenario for the Yankees, as Derek Jeter has struggled both offensively and defensively in the early going. It’s a lot to ask Jeter to be a regular shortstop at this stage of his career, so Ryan figures to play more than the average backup at the very least.

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.