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Ryan: Joining Yankees, playoff race 'thrilling'

BALTIMORE -- Brendan Ryan said he was sitting at his Safeco Field locker about 15 minutes before game time, scouring the waiver wire of his fantasy football league, when he was summoned to the office of Mariners manager Eric Wedge.

Ryan had no way of knowing, but while he was pondering moves for running backs or wide receivers, the Yankees were making a real-life trade for a shortstop. Ryan boarded a red-eye flight from Seattle, joining his new team for Wednesday's game at Camden Yards.

"I'm here. I'm excited," Ryan said. "I'm trying to process all this, and I'm playing [Wednesday]. This has been a pretty exciting 24 hours. I'm just focused on doing whatever I can to help this team."

With the Yankees needing reinforcement at shortstop because of Derek Jeter's health situation, Ryan was acquired from Seattle late on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named.

"I don't know if it's the most enviable position, to step in after a legend," Ryan said.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he plans on splitting the time between Ryan and Eduardo Nunez at shortstop for the remainder of the season. If the Yankees make the playoffs, Ryan would not be eligible for the roster because he was not part of the organization on Aug. 31.

Generally regarded as a top-notch defensive infielder, Ryan was batting .192 (50-for-260) with three home runs and 21 RBIs. He said that he thanked Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik for giving him the chance to play meaningful September games.

"I just went from a whole bunch of games back to right in the race," Ryan said. "It's pretty thrilling."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.
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