- Associated Press - Monday, December 5, 2016


OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - The reloading Boston Red Sox pulled off the biggest deal yet at the winter meetings, acquiring ace pitcher Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox for a package of four prospects.

Sale joins an already talented rotation with the AL East champions, now pitching alongside 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, former winner David Price and knuckleballer Steven Wright.

The 27-year-old lefty has been an All-Star in each of the last five seasons, finishing high in Cy Young voting every time. To get him, Boston traded four minor leaguers: high-priced third baseman Yoan Moncada, considered by many the top young talent in baseball, along with pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Basabe.

Sale was 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA and 233 strikeouts this year, a season after he led the majors by fanning 274. He also comes with this benefit: a team-favorable contract that calls for a $12 million salary next year and includes club options for 2018 at $12.5 million and 2019 at $15 million.

A few hours earlier, Boston got setup man Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers for a package that included infielder Travis Shaw, minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-hander Josh Pennington and a player to be named or $100.

The 28-year-old Thornburg will become Boston’s eighth-inning guy, setting up closer Craig Kimbrel. Thornburg was 8-5 with 13 saves and a 2.15 ERA in 67 games for the Brewers last season, striking out 90 in 67 innings.

NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Jeter’s No. 2 is being retired, the last of the New York Yankees’ single digits.

The Yankees said the number will be retired on May 14 before a Mother’s Day game against Houston, and a plaque in Jeter’s honor will be unveiled in Monument Park during the ceremony.

Jeter’s number is the 21st retired by the team. He won five World Series titles and was a 14-time All-Star during a 20-season career that ended in 2014. The shortstop ranks sixth in major league history with 3,465 career hits.

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Claire Smith became the first woman to win the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing and will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s induction weekend next July in Cooperstown, New York.

The 62-year-old Smith covered the New York Yankees for the Hartford Courant for five years starting in 1983 and was a columnist for The New York Times from 1991-98 and The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1998-2007. She currently is ESPN’s news editor of remote productions.


Baylor hired Matt Rhule as head coach after his highly successful run at Temple, hoping he can rebuild the Big 12 Conference program hit hard by scandal and suddenly struggling on the field.

Rhule becomes the full-time replacement for two-time Big 12 champion coach Art Briles, who was dismissed after a scathing report over the university’s handling of sexual assault complaints, including some against football players. Rhule will be introduced on the Waco campus Wednesday.

Former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe had been out of coaching two years when he put his retirement on hold in May to serve as Baylor’s acting head coach this season. The Bears are 6-6 and headed to the Cactus Bowl despite a six-game losing streak.

The 41-year-old Rhule is a former Penn State linebacker who has a monumental task ahead of him in putting together a coaching staff and a recruiting class at Baylor. With a monthlong quiet period in recruiting starting Saturday, Baylor has only one firm verbal commitment.


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - Mike Zimmer was back at practice with the Minnesota Vikings, not quite a week after surgery to repair a detached retina.

Zimmer wore a white patch that was taped over his right eye as he roamed the indoor field and instructed players as usual. The 60-year-old coach had to miss the game against Dallas last week because of the emergency operation, one of multiple procedures he’s had over the last six weeks. The Vikings announced that Zimmer is expected to travel with the team for Sunday’s game at Jacksonville.

HARVEY, La. (AP) - The man who fatally shot ex-NFL player Joe McKnight was arrested and jailed on a charge of manslaughter.

Jail records show 54-year-old Ronald Gasser was arrested late Monday.

Gasser was released last week without charges pending further investigation of McKnight’s death. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said Thursday’s shooting was the result of an apparent road-rage incident. When deputies arrived, the sheriff said Gasser handed them his gun and confessed to killing McKnight.


Novak Djokovic and coach Boris Becker are splitting up after three successful seasons together.

Djokovic posted a statement on Facebook, saying the duo “jointly decided to end our cooperation.” He has won six of his 12 career Grand Slam singles titles while working with Becker. Djokovic also was the runner-up at three other Grand Slam tournaments during his time with Becker, meaning the Serb made it to the finals at nine of the 12 majors during their partnership.


NEW YORK (AP) - David Villa earned Major League Soccer’s Most Valuable Player award after scoring 23 goals for New York City in his second season with the team. Villa received the award, named after Landon Donovan, from MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) - FC Dallas signed MLS defender of the year Matt Hedges to a four-year contract.


Thomas Bjorn was appointed captain of Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup team, a reward for his long and successful association with the event as a player and vice-captain as well as his commitment to the European Tour.

The 45-year-old Dane became the first Scandinavian to lead the European team, which will look to regain the cup at Le Golf National in Paris in 2018 after its 17-11 loss to the United States at Hazeltine in October.


CANASTOTA, N.Y. (AP) - Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and three-division champion Marco Antonio Barrera of Mexico highlight a list of nine people selected for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Also to be inducted June 11 in Canastota, New York are: super flyweight champion Johnny Tapia; Australian trainer Johnny Lewis; judge Jerry Roth; journalist-broadcaster Steve Farhood; broadcaster Barry Tompkins; and posthumous honorees Eddie Booker and ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Sr.

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