Headlines from around the world in sports
Average salary up 5.4 percent to $3.39 million
NEW YORK – The average salary in the major leagues has risen 5.4 percent to a record $3.39 million this year, its steepest increase since 2006.
The New York Yankees had the highest average for the 15th consecutive season at a record $8.17 million, breaking the mark of $7.66 million when they won the World Series in 2009. The Los Angeles Dodgers were second at $7.82 million, according to the annual report released yesterday by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Houston’s average of $549,603 was the lowest since the 1999 Kansas City Royals at $534,460. The Miami Marlins were 29th at $830,069, down from $3.77 million in 2012, when they ranked 10th.
Indians acquire LHP Outman for Stubbs
CLEVELAND – The Indians acquired left-hander Josh Outman from Colorado for outfielder Drew Stubbs. The 29-year-old Outman spent most of last season with the Rockies, going 3-0 with a 4.33 ERA in 61 relief appearances. Outman limited left-handed hitters to a .198 average and had a 3.41 ERA in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
Stubbs, who came to Cleveland in last December’s trade with Cincinnati for Shin-Soo Choo, batted .233 with 10 homers and 17 steals as a part-time player for the Indians. Cleveland’s signing of free agent David Murphy made Stubbs expendable.
Orioles trade Valencia to Royals for Lough
BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles obtained outfielder David Lough from the Kansas City Royals for infielder Danny Valencia.
As a rookie last season, the 27-year-old Lough batted .286 with five homers and 33 RBI in 96 games. He played all three outfield positions.
Valencia hit .304 in 170 plate appearances for Baltimore. He bounced between the big league team and the minor leagues for much of the season. Valencia’s .553 slugging percentage was the fifth-highest in the AL among players with at least 150 at-bats. He batted .371 with 14 doubles and four homers against left-handers.
Braves acquire catcher Doumit from Twins
ATLANTA – Looking for catching depth after losing Brian McCann to free agency, the Atlanta Braves acquired Ryan Doumit from the Minnesota Twins yesterday for left-hander Sean Gilmartin.
The 32-year-old Doumit could share time with Evan Gattis, a rookie last season who is McCann’s projected replacement as Atlanta’s primary starter.
After playing his first seven seasons with Pittsburgh, Doumit spent two years in Minnesota. He hit .247 with 14 homers and 55 RBI last season, when he started only 43 games at catcher and also played in the outfield.
Gilmartin, the 28th overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft, was 3-8 with a 5.74 ERA at Triple-A Gwinnett last season.
Source: Padres, reliever Benoit agree to 2-year deal
SAN DIEGO – A person familiar with the situation said the San Diego Padres agreed with former Detroit Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit on a $15.5 million, two-year contract.
In his first season as Tigers closer, Benoit had 24 saves in 26 chances. But in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series, he allowed a tying grand slam by Boston’s David Ortiz that was a turning point in the series.
Benoit, who turns 37 on July 26, is expected to replace setup man Luke Gregerson, who was traded to Oakland for outfielder Seth Smith. He could also be insurance for closer Huston Street, who’s been on the disabled list three times the last two seasons.
Source: Chavez agrees to re-sign with Arizona
PHOENIX – A person with knowledge of the situation said Eric Chavez reached an agreement to re-sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 36-year-old third baseman reportedly had been courted by several other teams but decided to return to Arizona on a one-year deal.
Chavez hit .281 with nine home runs and 44 RBI in 80 games with Arizona last season. It was his first year in the National League after 13 major league seasons in the AL with Oakland and the New York Yankees.
Seattle re-signs OF Gutierrez for 2014 season
SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners re-signed oft-injured outfielder Franklin Gutierrez for the 2014 season, adding needed depth to their outfield.
The Mariners announced the deal yesterday following a physical. Gutierrez became a free agent on Nov. 1 when the Mariners declined his option for 2014, but chose to return to Seattle for a sixth season hoping he can finally stay healthy.
Gutierrez won a Gold Glove in 2010 but has spent most of the past three seasons on the disabled list. He missed 106 games last season with hamstring problems that led to two extended stints on the DL.
McGehee agrees to 1-year deal with Marlins
MIAMI – Third baseman Casey McGehee agreed to a one-year contract with the Miami Marlins yesterday. McGehee, 31, hit .289 with 27 homers in Japan last year.
McGehee has an average of .257 in five big league seasons, and the Marlins will be his fifth major league team. He played for the Pirates and Yankees in 2012 and batted .217 with nine homers in 114 games.
Schaub to start at QB for Texans vs. Broncos
HOUSTON – Matt Schaub will start at quarterback for an injured Case Keenum on Sunday against Denver when the Houston Texans try to end a 12-game skid.
Schaub, who was benched after six games, will start for the first time since Oct. 13. Keenum has an injury to a ligament in his right thumb and was unable to grip the football on Tuesday. Interim Coach Wade Phillips says he will wear a splint this week.
Also yesterday, Phillips announced that running back Ben Tate will be placed on the injured reserve after another injury to his ribs. Tate has been playing with four broken ribs since October. Already without Arian Foster, the team signed Jonathan Grimes to take Tate’s roster spot and add depth at running back.
Bills’ Manuel out vs. Dolphins with knee swelling
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will miss the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Dolphins because of swelling in his left knee, and Thad Lewis will start in his place.
Coach Doug Marrone said yesterday that Manuel would be ready to return for the season finale against the Patriots.
Manuel had a procedure on the knee after being hurt in second preseason game but returned for the opener. He then sprained his other knee against Cleveland on Oct. 3 and missed four games.
Bills receiver Stevie Johnson was also ruled out for Sunday. He is excused to be with his family in California after the death of his mother.
Saints add kicker Graham, name Armstead starter at left tackle
METAIRIE, La. – Sean Payton said the Saints signed veteran kicker Shayne Graham and will start rookie Terron Armstead at left tackle in Sunday’s pivotal NFC South clash with Carolina.
Graham replaces Garrett Hartley, who was released on Tuesday afternoon, two days after failing to convert two field goals in a 27-16 loss at St. Louis. Armstead will start in place of Charles Brown, who was benched during the second half of Sunday’s game.
Graham is a 12-year veteran who played at Houston last season. Armstead was a third-round draft choice out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Wizards G Rice has wrist surgery, out 3-6 weeks
WASHINGTON – Washington Wizards guard Glen Rice had surgery on a broken right wrist and will be sidelined three to six weeks.
The team said Rice had experienced pain in his wrist leading up to Monday’s game against the New York Knicks.
Rice was a second-round pick in this year’s draft. He has averaged 2.9 points and 1.8 rebounds in 11 games.
Penguins defenseman Engelland suspended 5 games
NEW YORK – Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland was suspended for five games without pay by the NHL yesterday for a check to the head of Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader.
Engelland was given a match penalty for hitting Abdelkader in the first period of Pittsburgh’s 4-1 road victory Saturday night. The suspension will cost Engelland $14,530.