The Los Angeles Angels traded first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for left-hander Jason Vargas on Wednesday, filling needs for both teams.

Morales, 29, became expendable after the Angels agreed to a deal last week with free agent Josh Hamilton. The Angels had been looking for a pitcher after losing Zack Greinke and Dan Haren to free agency and trading Ervin Santana. Seattle, meanwhile, has been seeking hitting.

Vargas, 29, led Seattle in wins last season, going 14-11 with a 3.85 ERA. Morales hit .273 with 22 homers and 73 RBIs. Both are eligible for salary arbitration and can become free agents after next season.

  • Arizona hired Steve Sax as its first base coach. Sax, 52, was a five-time All-Star second baseman. He's been a motivational speaker since his playing days. Sax and Arizona manager Kirk Gibson were teammates on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

  • The New York Yankees and Ichiro Suzuki finalized a $13 million, two-year contract. The 39-year-old outfielder was obtained in a trade with Seattle on July 23.

  • Boston signed Ryan Dempster, 35, to a two-year, $26.5 million deal. He went 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA in 2012 with the Chicago Cubs and Texas.

    Miscellany

    It's the 96th day of the NHL lockout, and the sides haven't had any face-to-face meetings since last Thursday. But optimists say the stalemate will come into focus after the players' vote on dissolving the union is finalized Thursday.

    Pessimists say the vote may trigger a long legal process that could spell the end of the 2012-13 season. Games have been canceled through Dec. 30, and more cancellations could come this week. Deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the season must start by mid-January to have a 48-game schedule.

  • Serena Williams had surgery on her big toes and withdrew from an exhibition match against top-ranked Victoria Azarenka on Dec. 29 in Hua Hin, Thailand. The operation won't affect her preparations for the 2013 season, her agent, Jill Smoller, said. The Australian Open starts Jan. 14 in Melbourne.

  • Leaders of seven sports bodies made pitches to the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland, for inclusion at the 2020 Summer Games. The newly merged baseball and softball confederation is competing with karate, roller sports, squash, sport climbing, wakeboard and wushu for one place. A vote will be in September in Buenos Aires. The 2020 Olympics host will be chosen at the same meeting. The candidates are Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo.

    MCT Information Services contributed to this report.