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.
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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