Robinson Cano, Mariners finalize huge contract
SEATTLE — All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano and the Seattle Mariners have finalized their $240 million, 10-year contract that was agreed upon late last week.
The Mariners announced the contract Thursday following Cano’s completion of a physical. The deal is tied for the fourth largest contract in major league history.
Cano had spent his entire career with the Yankees. The five-time All-Star played in 160 games last season and hit .314 with 27 homers and 107 RBI. Cano posted a .899 on-base plus slugging percentage and finished fifth in American League MVP voting.
The Yankees offered Cano a $175 million, seven-year deal. New York went 85-77 last season and missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years; Seattle went 71-91 and hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2001.
AP source: Tigers, Chamberlain have one-year deal
DETROIT — A person familiar with the negotiations says the Detroit Tigers and right-handed pitcher Joba Chamberlain have agreed to terms on a one-year contract.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press on Thursday because the deal hadn’t been announced.
The AL Central champion Tigers accomplished another goal during their busy offseason by adding Chamberlain to its bullpen.
Chamberlain was 2-1 with one save in 45 games and a career-high 4.93 ERA last season for the New York Yankees. The converted starter was 23-14 with five saves with a 3.85 ERA in 260 over seven seasons with the Yankees.
Napoli, Red Sox sign two-year, $32M deal
BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox finalized their two-year deal with first baseman Mike Napoli on Thursday, bringing back one of the biggest hitters from the World Series team..
Napoli will earn $32 million through 2015. The terms were agreed to last week, when Napoli tweeted, “The beard is coming back to Boston!!! Couldn’t be happier!!”
Napoli’s bushy beard made him one of the most visible stars of the Red Sox, but it was his bat that helped them win the World Series. He drove in seven runs in the postseason as the Red Sox beat Tampa Bay, Detroit and St. Louis.
Napoli hit .259 with 23 home runs and 92 RBI this year in his first season with the Red Sox.
To make room for Napoli on the 40-man roster, outfielder Alex Castellanos was designated for assignment.
Rangers draft Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Yes, Russell Wilson loves baseball. But, for now, the Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback is thinking about getting his team to the Super Bowl.
Wilson was selected by the Texas Rangers from the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in the Triple-A portion of baseball’s winter meeting draft.
Wilson, who played minor league baseball for parts of two seasons before becoming an NFL star, will be placed on Texas’ restricted list.
“At the end of the day, he obviously has a lot bigger things that he’s working on right now,” Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller said, “and we don’t want to interrupt with that aspect of it. But if at some point down the road he decides he wants to do baseball again, we felt like it would be a positive to have him with us.”
Wilson was drafted as a second baseman by the Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 amateur draft out of North Carolina State, where he excelled at both baseball and football. In two seasons at the Class A level he hit .229 with five homers and 26 RBI.
In 2011, he left the Rockies for football at the University of Wisconsin. He was required to return to the Rockies a part of his $200,000 signing bonus.
Wilson said he was stunned Thursday when he got the phone call from Texas general manager Jon Daniels.
“It’s a pretty cool thing. It’s my third time being drafted in baseball so it’s a blessing for sure,” Wilson said. “At the same time my focus is on football. Mr. Daniels and I talked about that obviously. He knew that. ... My focus is on football and what we’re doing here.”
Texas’ Brown mum on future amid speculation
SAN ANTONIO — Texas coach Mack Brown isn’t saying whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game with the Longhorns amid intense speculation about his future.
Brown said Thursday he has yet to talk with new Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson and university president Bill Powers about his job. He deflected several other questions about his future during a news conference about Texas’ bowl game against Oregon on Dec. 30.
Brown acknowledged the Longhorns (8-4) didn’t finish how they wanted after starting the season talking about competing for a national championship.
Joe Jamail, Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, said this week that Brown’s future is still up to the Texas coach.
Brown won a national championship in 2005, but fan frustration has mounted after a string of disappointing seasons.
Cardinals’ Mathieu says he’ll have surgery today
TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu says he will have surgery today to repair torn ligaments in his left knee.
Mathieu, speaking informally to a small group of reporters at team headquarters, says he knows it will be frustrating to watch the team play for the remainder of the season.
It is the first serious injury of Mathieu’s career, and he says he will do his rehab work in Arizona.
The young safety, whose college career at LSU was cut short by marijuana-related issues, has developed a strong support system in Arizona.
Mathieu tore his ACL and LCS when he was hit while returning a free kick following a safety in the Cardinals’ 30-10 victory over St. Louis last Sunday.
QB Cutler to return to Bears’ lineup
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Quarterback Jay Cutler is set to return to the Chicago Bears’ lineup.
Coach Marc Trestman says Cutler will start Sunday at Cleveland after missing the previous four games with a high left ankle sprain.
Josh McCown, who played well in his absence, goes back to a reserve role.
Cutler went through a full practice on Thursday after working out with the receivers following a walkthrough, and got the green light to start this week. Linebacker Lance Briggs participated on a limited basis and Trestman was not optimistic about him returning from his shoulder injury against the Browns.