MLB: Red Sox trio receive offers
NEW YORK (AP) — The World Series champion Boston Red Sox made $14.1 million qualifying offers to free agents Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew on Monday, the first deadline day of baseball’s offseason.
Thirteen free agents received the offers, up from nine last year. The Yankees also extended offers to a trio of players: second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda.
Players accepting are signed for next season. If a player signs elsewhere, his former team gets an extra draft pick at the end of the first round next June as compensation.
Others receiving the offers were Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, Cincinnati outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City pitcher Ervin Santana, St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran, Seattle designated hitter Kendrys Morales and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz.
San Francisco declined a $6.5 million option on right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, who gets a $300,000 buyout, and Baltimore turned down a $3 million option on infielder Alexi Casilla, who gets a $200,000 buyout. Atlanta declined a $1.6 million option on outfielder Reed Johnson, who receives a $150,000 buyout.
Times: A-Rod tested positive in ’06
NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2006, The New York Times reported, an accusation denied by a representative of the legal team for the New York Yankees’ third baseman.
The newspaper cited two unidentified people involved with baseball’s drug-testing program.
Baseball’s joint drug agreement specifies the discipline for a first positive test for a banned stimulant is six additional unannounced drug tests over the year following the violation. A second stimulant violation would result in a 25-game suspension.
Rodriguez’s legal team accused MLB of leaking the allegation of a positive test, using a statement and making a filing to arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.
Lanny Davis, a former Clinton administration official working for Rodriguez’s legal team, denied the player tested positive, the Times said. James McCarroll, a lawyer for the three-time AL MVP, did not address whether Rodriguez had a positive test, only that he was not banned.
• COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox will join holdovers George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller on the Hall of Fame expansion era committee ballot next month.
Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin and Ted Simmons also are held over from the 2010 ballot, while Dave Parker and Dan Quisenberry have been added. Vida Blue, Ron Guidry, Al Oliver and Rusty Staub have been dropped.
The committee will gather at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and its vote will be announced there Dec. 9.
Smart headlines All-America team
NEW YORK (AP) — Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart was the only unanimous selection to The Associated Press’ preseason All-America team.
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott was named on all but two of the 65 ballots from the national media panel. Louisville senior Russ Smith, Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins and Michigan sophomore Mitch McGary were the rest of the first team.
LONDON (AP) — Former finalist Juan Martin del Potro battled his way past Richard Gasquet 6-7 (4), 6-3, 7-5 to win his opening round-robin match at the ATP Finals on Monday.
Del Potro extended his record against Gasquet to 6-1 and secured a crucial win in a tough Group B that also includes Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Playing at the season-ending tournament for the first time since 2007, Gasquet produced some stunning shots but struggled to return del Potro’s big serve in a match laced with unforced errors from both sides.