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Archive for Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cubs unload Bradley

December 19, 2009

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— Mercurial outfielder Milton Bradley was traded to the Seattle Mariners from the Chicago Cubs on Friday for expensive and underperforming pitcher Carlos Silva.

The dual dumping, which came together in 48 hours, got rid of headaches for each team — yet has the potential of creating new ones in each city.

Chicago also received $9 million from the Mariners as part of the swap. Silva has $25 million remaining on his contract, and Bradley has $22 million left on his deal.

Chicago has been wanting to trade Bradley since the Cubs suspended him for the final two weeks of last season, shortly after he criticized the atmosphere surrounding a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908.

General manager Jim Hendry said Friday he regrets signing the fiery outfielder to a $30 million, three-year contract. Bradley hit just .257 with 40 RBIs last season.

“I bear the responsibility for that not working out,” Hendry said during a conference call. “Obviously, in this case, it did not work out how we planned, which was also the reason I sent Milton home. (That’s) not going to be tolerated, to treat our fans, teammates and members of the media the way he did. It’s just time to put it behind us and move forward.”

Silva won five games in two years with the Mariners. They will now pay more to Chicago to shed the albatross of a contract second-year Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik inherited from predecessor Bill Bavasi.

BASEBALL

Lopez, Pirates agree

Pittsburgh — Left-hander Javier Lopez has agreed to a one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 32-year-old was 1-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 38 games last season at Triple-A Pawtucket after going 0-2 with a 9.26 ERA for Boston from the start of the year through May 9. He is 11-7 with four saves and a 4.62 ERA over seven seasons.

Yanks, Johnson reach deal

New York — Nick Johnson is returning to the Yankees, a move that likely will end Johnny Damon’s time in New York after four seasons. Johnson reached a preliminary agreement Friday on a $5.5 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement is not yet complete.

Johnson must pass a physical for the agreement to be finalized. He can earn about $1 million more in performance bonuses next year, and the deal includes a 2011 mutual option for at least $5.5 million with possible escalators.

Brewers keep Vargas

Milwaukee — Reliever Claudio Vargas agreed Friday to a one-year contract to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers. The 31-year-old right-hander went a combined 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee last season while holding opponents to a .177 batting average.

Suit against Sosa dismissed

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — A lawsuit by a business seeking $203,000 from former baseball standout Sammy Sosa has been thrown out by a Dominican Republic prosecutor. Adolfo Feliz said Friday that the suit lacked sufficient evidence.

NFL

Henry probe continues

Cincinnati — One day after the death of teammate Chris Henry, the Cincinnati Bengals tried to focus on the field as they prepared for a key game at San Diego.

Meanwhile, police in Charlotte, N.C., continued their investigation Friday after they said Henry died of injuries from falling out of the back of a moving pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

In Charlotte, police have yet to file charges or clear his fiancee, Loleini Tonga, of wrongdoing. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Rosalyn Harrington confirmed that his fiancee stopped after Henry “came out of the back” of the pickup truck she was driving on the curvy stretch of a residential road near the Tonga family home.

“She pulled the vehicle over to get out and assist,” Harrington said late Friday.

Phillips gets 31 years

San Diego — Ex-NFL running back Lawrence Phillips has been sentenced to more than 31 years in prison for attacking his girlfriend and driving his car into three teens.

Phillips, 34, was sentenced Friday in San Diego for assault and other crimes. Phillips told the judge he didn’t get a fair trail and he’ll appeal.

Phillips twice choked his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego. Later that year, he aimed his car and struck three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles.

Incognito fined $50,000

New York — Richie Incognito was fined $50,000 by the NFL on Friday for two unnecessary roughness fouls, punctuating a rough week for the guard. Playing for the Rams last Sunday in a 47-7 loss at Tennessee, Incognito head-butted Sen’Derrick Marks in the first half. He did the same thing to Vincent Fuller later in the half, then was benched by coach Steve Spagnuolo.

The Rams released him Tuesday, and he signed with Buffalo on Thursday.

GOLF

Woods player of the year

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. — Tiger Woods has won the PGA Tour player of the year award in a vote by the players, the 10th time in his career he has won the award.

Woods’ season started and finished the same way — with questions when he would play. He was coming off knee surgery at the beginning of the year, and last week announced an indefinite leave to work on his marriage after admitting to infidelity.

In between, Woods won six PGA Tour events, captured the FedEx Cup, won the money title and had the lowest scoring average. The PGA Tour does not disclose vote totals.

Marc Leishman of Australia was voted rookie of the year.

AUTO RACING

Track owners drop suit

Sparta, Ky. — The former owners of Kentucky Speedway are done fighting with NASCAR. The group announced Friday that it will not exercise any remaining legal options in its four-year battle against NASCAR and International Speedway Corp.

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