Reddick, A's top Mariners 6-1

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Reddick, A's top Mariners 6-1

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PHOENIX -- Hisashi Iwakuma is trying both to work his way into the Seattle Mariners' rotation and get ready for the season in general.Iwakuma allowed five runs - three earned - on seven hits over four innings in the Oakland Athletics' 6-1 victory over Seattle split-squad team Friday night."For the rotation, I need to have more effort to get the result for it," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "For the season, I also need to work and get ready. I feel I'm getting better every time."

The 30-year-old right hander was 6-7 with a 2.42 ERA for the Tohoka Rakuten Golden Eagles last season but started only 17 games because of right shoulder troubles. He signed a one-year, 1.5 million contract with the Mariners in January.Iwakuma had a rocky start against the Athletics. Coco Crisp reached on an error, Eric Sogard had a hit-and-run single and Josh Reddick and Manny Ramirez added consecutive doubles to give Oakland a 3-0 lead.Collin Cowgill drove in Ramirez with two outs to complete the Athletics' four-run first.Iwakuma settled down giving up two hits but facing only seven batters in the second and third before giving up a fifth run on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly by Adam Rosales in the fourth."The difference between the first and second inning is I tried to pitch a little bit higher because they were aiming for the low ball," Iwakuma said. "Then I tried to use my curveball to change their minds and their eye levels."Oakland starter Graham Godfrey also struggled in the first, surrendering a run before he got an out as Chone Figgins walked, went to third on a single by Luis Rodriguez and came home on an Ichiro Suzuki single to right.After Ichiro, however, Godfrey retired the final 11 batters he faced and struck out five."It was just a matter of getting under the lights for the first time," Godfrey said. "I was excited. I had a couple of body parts moving in different directions."Cowgill walked in the fourth to reach base in his 11th straight plate appearance before lining out in the sixth."I was aware of it but I tried not to think of it," said Cowgill, who is on the bubble for a reserve spot on the roster. "I'm just trying to play as hard as I can and help this team win."NOTES: Ichiro finished 3 for 4. ... Ramirez, who hit his first spring home run on Tuesday, flew out to the warning track in the third and struck out looking in the fifth. ... Friday was the last of three spring meetings between the A's and Mariners, but they'll be seeing each other often in the coming weeks. Oakland and Seattle open the season with a two-game series beginning March 28 in Tokyo, then come home to play twice more April 6-7 in Oakland. They also meet for Seattle's home opener on April 13. ... The Mariners lost for just the second time in nine road games. ... Sogard has reached base in each of the 12 games in which he has played. ... Oakland leads the majors with 107 runs in 15 games.

Rich Hill 'incredibly thankful' for time spent with A's

Rich Hill 'incredibly thankful' for time spent with A's

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The A’s didn’t make waves in the opening stages of the winter meetings, but one of their former pitchers did.

Rich Hill signed a three-year $48 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In doing so, he returns to the team that acquired him from Oakland at last summer’s trade deadline.

It’s quite a career pinnacle for Hill, 36, who the A’s took a chance on last winter by signing him to a one-year $6 million deal. The lefty was less than a year removed from pitching in independent ball with the Long Island Ducks, a move he made to transition back to starting after years pitching in relief.

Hill showed emotion at times as he addressed reporters Monday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. He also expressed gratitude for his half-season in green and gold. The lefty flourished in 14 starts with Oakland, going 9-3 with a 2.25 ERA before the trade. That validated him as a legitimate big league starter and helped pave the way for Monday’s payday, as Hill stood out as arguably the top starter available in a thin free agent pitching market.

“Obviously that’s an opportunity we were incredibly thankful for,” Hill said. “To be able to do that with Oakland, be re-established as a starting pitcher. When you look back at that time, I’m extremely humbled by that but also the opportunity in Boston and going back even to Long Island. Connecting the dots going backward, we feel very fortunate getting to this point. But all those things had to fall into place.”

Hill said his camp had discussion with several teams this winter, but that there was no meaningful dialogue with the A’s about a return. Now the Dodgers hope he can bolster their rotation for the next three years behind superstar ace Clayton Kershaw.

Hill turns 37 in March, so signing him to a three-year deal can be viewed as going out on a limb. But Hill says he looks to other older pitchers as an example of what can be accomplished even pushing beyond a 40th birthday.

“You see guys like R.A. (Dickey) and Bartolo (Colon), who are still pitching into their mid-40’s, it’s inspiring because it’s something I would love to do,” he said. “ However, we all know the body clock says other things.”

A’s officials weren’t scheduled to arrive at the winter meetings until Monday evening, with the first media availability for Oakland’s front office set for Tuesday. At the top of their to-do list is finding an everyday center fielder, either through free agency or a trade.

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

Report: Ex-A's outfielder agrees to $13 million deal with Yankees

XON HILL, Md. — A person familiar with the negotiations says free agent outfielder Matt Holliday and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $13 million, one-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday night because the agreement had not yet been announced.

Holliday, who turns 37 next month, fits into the Yankees strategy of signing veterans to short-term deals while pivoting toward a youth movement.

A seven-time All-Star, Holliday was drafted by Colorado in 1998, traded to Oakland after the 2008 season and then dealt to St. Louis the following July. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games this year, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.

Holliday became a free agent when St. Louis declined his $17 million option.