NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Yankees capped an offseason spending spree by agreeing to a $155 million, seven-year contract with prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
Following just the second season in 19 years that didn’t include a playoff appearance, the Yankees flexed their economic might and committed $438 million to four free agents. Tanaka joined catcher Brian McCann and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran on a revamped roster missing long-time All-Stars Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Robinson Cano.
The Yankees must also pay a $20 million posting fee to Tanaka’s Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.
Big league teams had until Friday to reach an agreement with Tanaka, who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year as the Golden Eagles won the Japan Series title. Arizona, the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston all said they were among the failed bidders.
BOSTON (AP) - Oft-injured outfielder Grady Sizemore has agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox.
A three-time All-Star, the 31-year-old has played eight major league seasons, all with Cleveland. He is a .269 career hitter with 139 homers and 458 RBIs.
Sizemore was an AL All-Star in each of his last three full seasons (2006-08) and hit .279 during that stretch. He has been hampered by injuries over the last five years, missing the past two seasons following operations on his right knee and back. Before 2009, he had never been on the disabled list.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Richard Sherman wondered if he came to the NFL 20 years too late, whether his swagger might have fit better a few decades earlier when that confidence and an unfiltered tongue was perhaps more accepted.
The Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback spoke at length for the first time since Sunday’s NFC championship game win over San Francisco where his postgame comments to Fox reporter Erin Andrews became the talking point. It was a loud, emotional moment that happened just a few minutes after the Seahawks earned the second Super Bowl berth in franchise history.
Sherman said the reaction that followed over the next two days left him a little stunned.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - The NFL’s officiating chief has cleared Broncos receiver Wes Welker of any wrongdoing for his hit that knocked Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib out of Sunday’s AFC Championship.
Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, making his weekly appearance on the NFL Network, said the hit was ‘legal.’
On Monday, New England coach Bill Belichick blasted Welker for the hit, calling it “one of the worst plays” he’d seen in nearly four decades of coaching.