The Cubs “may have interest” in Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ, per Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link). Chicago’s rotation has a pair of notable question marks, as it’s not yet clear when Yu Darvish will be able to return to the mix, while Tyler Chatwood’s season-long struggles to throw strikes have been a well-documented issue. Happ has been most prominently linked to the Yankees and the Mariners thus far, though as a pending free agent on a clear non-contender, he figures to draw interest from a large number of clubs as the non-waiver deadline approaches. Happ’s two most recent starts haven’t been good ones, though as long as there’s no medical reason for the pair of ugly outings, that’s not likely to impact his trade value much, if at all.
More from the division…
- Brandon Phillips chatted with WEEI’s Rob Bradford about his opportunity with the Red Sox and the manner in which he remained motivated and ready to play even when interest was limited throughout the offseason and early in the season. The 37-year-old veteran notes that he’ll play anywhere the Sox ask of him and is hopeful of returning to the Majors and helping Boston toward — but also enjoys working with the team’s minor leaguers as he gets back into playing shape. “I was waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning in the Gulf Coast League trying to get my work in,” says Phillips, who worked out with Boston’s GCL affiliate before moving into game settings at the Class-A level. “They’re like, ‘Brandon, you don’t have to do this.’ I’m like, ‘Man, I’m here for this. I want to work out with those guys. I just want to get back in the feel of it.’” Phillips makes clear that he has no desire to hang up the spikes at any point in the near future and wants to win a World Series ring before even beginning to consider retirement.
- The Rays had a pair of scouts watching the Nationals’ Class-A affiliate over the weekend, tweets Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post. While most teams obviously send scouts to watch other clubs year-round, and other teams surely had scouts on hand at that game as well, it’s nonetheless notable at a time when rumors have been circulating that the Nationals could pursue a trade that would bring Tampa Bay catcher Wilson Ramos back to D.C.
- Aroldis Chapman will likely be dealing with his current left knee issue for the rest of the season, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone said before yesterday’s game (link via George A. King III of the New York Post). Chapman has been playing through a minor bout of tedinitis in his left knee and was held out of yesterday’s game even when the Yankees found themselves with a late 2-1 lead. Boone explained that he wanted to stay away from Chapman and Dellin Betances, instead turning to David Robertson to nail down the save. With a doubleheader set for Monday, it makes some sense to give Chapman that extra day of rest. King also notes that the Reds, Rangers and Royals were all among the rebuilding teams scouting the Triple-A tilt between the Yankees and Red Sox’ top affiliates yesterday. Several contending clubs were on hand as well, though, including the Indians, Phillies and D-backs.