Mariners’ interest in Matt Kemp is “very real”

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The Mariners re-acquired Kendrys Morales from the Twins on Thursday for right-handed reliever Stephen Pryor, and they’re not done trying to beef up their offense. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo

Kemp owns an underwhelming .273/.339/.429 batting line in 369 plate appearances this season for the Dodgers, but Seattle outfielders have combined to hit .252/.291/.357 and so he’d be a pretty significant upgrade. The 29-year-old is making $21 million in 2014 and owed $107 million between 2015-2019.

Los Angeles has a crowded (and expensive) outfield at the moment between Kemp, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, and Scott Van Slyke. And top prospect Joc Pederson is knocking on the door.

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.