Cincinnati Joey Votto powered the Cincinnati Reds to their first playoff appearance in 15 years, winning the NL MVP award for a breakthrough season.
The first baseman earned a raise, and, boy, did he get one.
Votto has agreed to a $38 million, three-year contract with Cincinnati, buying out his arbitration years and giving the reigning NL Central champs some short-term budget security.
A person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press about the deal Sunday on condition of anonymity because the contract had not yet been announced.
Votto was a first-time All-Star in 2010, finishing second in the NL in batting average at .324 and third in homers (37) and RBIs (113). He led the NL in slugging percentage (.600), topped the major leagues in on-base percentage (.424) and had 16 stolen bases in 21 chances.
He made $525,000 last year and was eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Now 27, Votto didn’t become a major-league regular until two years ago. Following the death of his father in August 2008, he went on the disabled list and missed 21 games the following year partly because of depression and anxiety.
He was a runaway winner in the MVP balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, receiving 31 of 32 first-place votes and 443 points.
AL MVP Hamilton out of hospital
Arlington, Texas — American League MVP Josh Hamilton is out of the hospital.
The Texas Rangers said in a statement that their slugging outfielder was discharged Sunday afternoon from the Medical Center of Arlington, five days after he was admitted for treatment of an early case of pneumonia.
The team statement says Hamilton should be able to resume his conditioning and baseball activities within a few days.
A’s make another bullpen addition
Oakland, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics made another move to boost their bullpen, agreeing to terms with free-agent lefty reliever Brian Fuentes on a two-year contract, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press on Sunday night.
Fuentes still must pass a physical.
The 35-year-old Fuentes, who grew up in the Central Valley town of Merced, was 4-1 with 24 saves and a 2.81 ERA in 48 appearances and 48 innings with the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins in 2010.
He will become the second bullpen addition for the A’s in a matter of days. Oakland agreed to terms with free-agent right-handed reliever Grant Balfour on an $8.1 million, two-year deal Friday. Balfour also still must take a physical.
On Saturday, the A’s agreed to terms with righty submariner Brad Ziegler on a $1.25 million, one-year contract to salary arbitration.
Villanueva, Jays agree to one year
Toronto — Reliever Carlos Villanueva and the Toronto Blue Jays avoided arbitration Sunday by agreeing to terms on a $1.415 million, one-year contract. The 28-year-old Villanueva was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on Dec. 3. He was 2-0 with a 4.16 ERA with a save and 14 holds in 50 appearances for the Brewers last season.
Dallas to hire Ryan as D-coordinator
Dallas — Rob Ryan is headed to Dallas and already has another family reunion lined up.
Ryan has agreed to become the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive coordinator, two people with direct knowledge of the hire told the Associated Press on Sunday.
Ryan is the son of former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan and the brother of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The Cowboys are scheduled to face the Jets next season.
The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move.
Ryan became the Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator in 2009, but his future there was uncertain after the team fired coach Eric Mangini and hired Pat Shurmur last week. Ryan also interviewed for the head-coaching job with the Carolina Panthers, who hired Ron Rivera.
Cable files grievance against Davis
Alameda, Calif. — Former Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable has filed a grievance to recover $120,000 that the team fined him during the final year of his contract.
A person familiar with the fines spoke to the Associated Press on Sunday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. The story was first reported by ESPN.
The person did not say why the Raiders withheld the money from Cable’s paychecks. ESPN reported owner Al Davis was upset that the Raiders lost two days of organized team activities in June for violating NFL rules.
Wilson holds on at Sony Open
Honolulu — Mark Wilson made it through a marathon Sunday at the Sony Open without a bogey and held on for a two-shot victory that earned him his first trip to the Masters.
Wilson shot a 5-under 65 in the morning to take a one-shot lead into the afternoon round. He built a four-shot lead at the turn, then had to hang on when Tim Clark and Steve Marino made late runs on different sides of Waialae.
Clark birdied three of his last four holes, and narrowly missed an eagle putt on the ninth hole for a 64. Marino made two late birdies, then hit a fairway metal with his feet in the bunker and the ball on the side of a hill about chest-high. He managed to reach the green, but his eagle putt turned away for a 68.
Wilson made one last birdie for a 67 to earn his third career victory.
Johnson quashes Gulbis rumors
Honolulu — Golfer Dustin Johnson says he hasn’t been dating anyone for two months, not even Natalie Gulbis.
Johnson spoke out this weekend because he was tired of hearing gossip and innuendoes that he withdrew from the Sony Open because his girlfriend found out about a relationship with Gulbis.
He said he broke up with college girlfriend Amanda Caulder a few months ago. Johnson said he had spent some time with Gulbis, an LPGA star, but they were not in a relationship.
Schwartzel defends Joburg title
Johannesburg — Charl Schwartzel successfully defended his Joburg Open title on Sunday, birdieing the last hole for a 4-under 67 and a four-stroke victory. The South African finished at 19-under 265 at at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.