MLB Notes: Nationals trade Morse to Mariners

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MLB Notes: Nationals trade Morse to Mariners

The Mariners added some much-needed power to their lineup Wednesday, acquiring Michael Morse from Washington in a three-team deal that moved catcher John Jaso from Seattle to Oakland.

The NL East champion Nationals reacquired pitching prospect A.J. Cole, dealt from Washington to Oakland 13 months ago in the trade for Gio Gonzalez. Washington also got minor league pitcher Blake Treinen and a player to be named.

Morse hit .291 with 18 home runs and 62 RBIs last year in an injury-shortened season, playing mostly as a corner outfielder. He was with the Mariners from 2005-08 before he was traded to the Nationals for Ryan Langerhans in June 2009.

"I'm just glad this whole thing has unfolded the way it has," Morse said on a conference call, noting he was aware he might be traded by Washington.

"I knew there were teams involved and I knew Seattle was one of them. That was one of the teams I was hoping for. I love it out there and I always felt like I had an unfinished-business feeling in Seattle. I never got to prove myself completely what kind of player I could be or who I am," he said.

The deal clears up a logjam in the outfield for Washington and at designated hitter for Seattle (see full story).

Jeter cleared for baseball activity
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he's been cleared to start baseball activity in his recovery from a broken left ankle.

The 38-year-old team captain reiterated Wednesday that he is on track to be in New York's starting lineup for the opener on April 1.

Jeter won't take the field for workouts until later this month. The 13-time All-Star said that is his normal pre-spring training routine.

"I've got the OK to start," Jeter said before a launch party for his Turn 2 Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic. "But I don't start until next week or the week after, anyway. In terms of baseball activity, I'm right where I need to be."

Jeter broke his ankle lunging for a grounder in Game 1 of the AL championship series against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months (see full story).

Padilla signs with team in Japan
FUKUOKA, Japan -- Free-agent pitcher Vicente Padilla has signed with The Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League.

The 35-year-old right-hander, who was 4-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 56 relief appearances for the Boston Red Sox last season, agreed to a 3.25 million, one-year contract with the Hawks, Kyodo news agency reported Thursday.

Padilla, born in Nicaragua, was a major league All-Star in 2002 with the Philadelphia Phillies when he went 14-11 with a 3.28 ERA.

He has also pitched for the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks during a 14-year big league career, going 108-91 with a 4.32 ERA.

The Hawks also signed former Chicago Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair to a 4.5 million, two-year contract in November (see full story).

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Tonight's lineup: After premature bat-flip, Odubel Herrera sits

Tonight's lineup: After premature bat-flip, Odubel Herrera sits

Odubel Herrera is out of the Phillies' lineup a day after being double-switched out of Tuesday's game as a punishment.

Herrera was mocked by players in the Astros' dugout after flipping the bat on a flyout to the warning track, and he later did not run out a dropped third strike. Herrera has flipped the bat for far less, and it's not uncommon for a player to not bust it to first on a dropped third strike, but manager Pete Mackanin clearly felt it was time to send Herrera a message.

With Herrera out, Aaron Altherr is in center field and batting fifth in his first game back from the DL. Daniel Nava (hamstring) has been placed on the 10-day DL retroactive to July 23.

Herrera has hit .331 since June 3 with a MLB-leading 20 doubles but Mackanin on Tuesday said that he, too, is in a developmental phase — one that involves mental adjustments more so than physical adjustments.

Here's the Phillies' lineup against Astros right-hander Mike Fiers:

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Nick Williams, RF
4. Howie Kendrick, LF
5. Aaron Altherr, CF
6. Maikel Franco, 3B
7. Tommy Joseph, 1B
8. Cameron Rupp, C
9. Aaron Nola, P

For more on the matchup, check out tonight's game notes.

Phillies activate Aaron Altherr from DL, place Daniel Nava on 10-day DL

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Phillies activate Aaron Altherr from DL, place Daniel Nava on 10-day DL

The Phillies on Wednesday activated Aaron Altherr from the 10-day DL, exactly one week after assistant GM Scott Proefrock said the outfielder could be sidelined 3 to 4 weeks with a hamstring strain.

Altherr missed 10 games. To make room for him on the active roster, the Phillies placed Daniel Nava on the disabled list (retroactive to July 23) with his own hamstring strain.

Altherr has been the Phillies' best offensive player this season, hitting .288 with 20 doubles, 14 home runs, 44 RBIs and an .898 OPS. The Phils may ease him back in to try to prevent an aggravation of the injury, but once he's fully healthy he needs to play every day.

That could create a tricky situation in the outfield for manager Pete Mackanin if Howie Kendrick is not traded ahead of Monday's deadline. Nick Williams is too intriguing to take out of the lineup, and Odubel Herrera is the everyday centerfielder. With Cesar Hernandez healthy, second base is not an option for Kendrick beyond the occasional day off for Hernandez.