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Wednesday night notes and links

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There are times when a press release arrives, and you can’t help but wonder whether someone in the media relations department came up with the quotes. No such question with today’s Ichiro Suzuki announcement.

“I believe the Yankees organization appreciates that there is a difference between a 39 year old who has played relying only on talent, and a 39 year old who has prepared, practiced, and thought thoroughly through many experiences for their craft. I am very thankful, and I will do my best to deliver on their expectations.”

That sort of quote can only come from Ichiro himself.

It’s amazing to think that less than six months ago, Ichiro seemed finished, and today he got a two-year deal. I’m not sure he can repeat those late-season results, but on a personal note, he’s a fun guy to cover and seems pretty popular in the clubhouse. I’m glad he’s back, if only for those reasons. And for his quotes.

A few other notes from today:

[3]• First came word that the Angels were interested in trading DH/1B Kendrys Morales for an innings eater, then the Angels did exactly that by sending Morales to the Mariners for starter Jason Vargas, [4] a 29-year-old who’s thrown at least 200 innings the past two seasons. The Angels got the rotation durability they needed. The Mariners got the power they wanted. Makes sense. And no, the Yankees don’t really have a Vargas-type that they could have offered.

• One of the better and more versatile pitchers came off the market today when Carlos Villanueva agreed to terms with the Cubs. [5] Could be a reliever, but Jon Heyman reports that he should get a chance to start in Chicago.

Mickey Storey is on the move again. [6] He’s been claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays. Beginning with a DFA by the Astros, Storey has been claimed by the Yankees, then claimed (back) by the Astros, then claimed by the Blue Jays. He’s on the Eli Whiteside plan, apparently.

• Cody Ross, who’s probably the top right-handed outfielder on the market, reportedly met with the Rangers yesterday.  [7]Not sure the Yankees will be able to get either Ross or Scott Hairston, but they clearly need a right-handed outfielder now that the Ichiro deal is finalized and an all-lefty outfield is in place.

• The Red Sox officially announced their deal with Ryan Dempster. [8]“I’m very aware that the AL East is a tough division,” Dempster said. “If you go out there and make the pitches and execute, it won’t matter who you’re pitching against or where you’re pitching.”

Associated Press photo