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Red Sox acquire Aaron Hill from the Brewers

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The Brewers announced on Thursday evening that the club sent 3B/2B Aaron Hill to the Red Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Aaron Wilkerson and second baseman Wendell Rijo.

Hill, 34, is having a quality season after two subpar years in 2014 and ’15. He’s batting .283/.359/.421 with eight home runs and 29 RBI in 292 plate appearances, getting a majority of his playing time against left-handed pitching.

Wilkerson, 27, has split the year between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, compiling an aggregate 2.14 ERA with a 102/25 K/BB ratio in 92 1/3 innings spanning 16 starts and one relief appearance.

Rijo, 20, has spent most of the year with Portland, batting a paltry .186/.245/.266 in 194 plate appearances.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?