Update on the latest sports


Springer, Blue Jays finalize $150M, 6-year contract

UNDATED (AP) — All-Star outfielder George Springer has finalized his $150 million, six-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, becoming the most prominent free agent to reach an agreement this offseason.

Springer gets a $10 million signing bonus payable within 30 days and salaries of $22 million this year, $28 million in 2022 and $22.5 million in each of the final four seasons. He gets a limited no-trade provision, allowing him to designate eight teams annually he cannot be dealt to without his consent.

Springer, who turned 31 in September, received the largest deal in team history, topping outfielder Vernon Wells’ $126 million, seven-year contract in 2006. A three-time All-Star, Springer had spent his entire seven-season career with Houston and was the World Series MVP when the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games for their first title in 2017.

Springer hit .265 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs during the shortened 2020 season.

In other MLB news:

— The Cubs have finalized a $1.5 million, one-year contract with catcher Austin Romine (ROH’-myn). He can earn an additional $700,000 in performance bonuses for starts at catcher and $500,000 in roster bonuses. Chicago had been looking for a backup catcher since the Cubs traded Victor Caratini to San Diego last month. Miguel Amaya is among the organization’s top prospects, but he finished his last minor league season at the Class-A level. The 32-year-old Romine hit .238 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 37 games with Detroit last year, earning $1,537,037 in prorated pay from a $4.15 million salary.

— The Houston Astros have traded left-hander Cionel Pérez to the Cincinnati Reds for minor league catcher Luke Berryhill. The 24-year-old Pérez pitched seven games in relief last season, going 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA. In parts of three seasons for the Astros, he is 1-1 with a 5.75 ERA in 20 games. He’s pitched 26 2/3 innings, striking out 27 and walking 15. The 22-year-old Berryhill hit .240 in eight games in 2019 for Greeneville at the rookie level. He didn’t play in any games last year because of the minor league shutdown caused by the pandemic.


Shorthanded Wizards sign 2 centers, set to resume Sunday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The shorthanded Washington Wizards signed free agent centers Alex Len and Jordan Bell on Saturday, trying to fill out a roster decimated by COVID-19 and injuries.

The Wizards have scrapped six games since a win over Phoenix on Jan. 11 made them 3-8. They’re scheduled to play Sunday at San Antonio.

Six Washington players have tested positive for the coronavirus and three other players were sidelined after contact tracing determined they might have been exposed to the illness.

Starting center Thomas Bryant is out for the season with an injured left knee and point guard Russell Westbrook is still dealing with a left quadriceps injury.

The 7-foot Len averaged 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds in 474 games over eight seasons with Phoenix, Atlanta, Sacramento and Toronto. He played seven games for the Raptors this season. The 27-year-old from Ukraine played at Maryland before he was the fifth overall pick by Phoenix in the 2013 draft.

The 6-8 Bell averaged 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 154 games over three seasons with Golden State, Minnesota and Memphis. The 26-year-old hadn’t played in the NBA this season.


Oklahoma beats No. 9 Kansas

UNDATED (AP) — De’Vion Harmon scored 22 points and Oklahoma beat No. 9 Kansas 75-68 for its second victory this month over a top-10 opponent.

Oklahoma has won three of its last four games against Kansas in Norman. Oklahoma also defeated then-No. 9 West Virginia on Jan. 2.

Kansas entered the game coming off losses at Oklahoma State and No. 2 Baylor. It now has lost three straight games for the first time in nearly eight years.

Marcus Garrett had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Jayhawks, who were limited to two offensive rebounds. Jalen Wilson added 13 points for Kansas.

In other top-25 action Saturday:

— Denzel Mahoney scored 20 points and 11th-ranked Creighton broke open a close game in the last 10 minutes to beat No. 23 Connecticut 74-66. The Bluejays struggled offensively while losing their previous two games but shot 58% in the second half and avoided their first three-game losing streak since February 2019. R.J. Cole scored 14 points and freshman Adama Sanogo had a season-high 13 to lead UConn. The Huskies played their fourth straight game without scoring leader James Bouknight, who is recovering from elbow surgery.

— Quincy Guerrier had 20 points, Marek Doelzaj added 18 and Alan Griffin had 15 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks for his fourth double-double of the season and Syracuse defeated No. 16 Virginia Tech 78-60. The Orange badly needed a quality win to build its resume for the postseason. Nahiem Alleyne led the Hokies with a season-tying high 20 points, 15 from 3.


Packers elevate CB Williams to active roster for game day

UNDATED (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have elevated recent cornerback acquisition Tramon Williams to their active roster for Sunday’s NFC championship game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The move Saturday comes two days after the Packers announced they had signed Williams to their practice squad. The 37-year-old Williams was waived by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday, two days after their 17-3 AFC divisional playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Williams previously played for the Packers from 2007-14 and 2018-19.

Green Bay may need some extra depth in the secondary due to the uncertain status of starting cornerback Kevin King, who didn’t practice Friday because of a back injury. Green Bay’s injury report Friday listed King as questionable.

The Packers also elevated defensive lineman Brian Price and cornerback KeiVarae Russell from the practice squad to the active roster for game day. In other moves, they signed punter Ryan Winslow to the practice squad and released running back Dexter Williams from the practice squad.

In other NFL news:

— New Atlanta Falcons coach Arthur Smith is building his staff. He added four assistants Saturday, including veteran defensive line coach Gary Emanuel. Emanuel coached the New York Giants’ defensive line in 2018-19. He has 38 years coaching experience, including 10 in the NFL. He coached the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive line from 2012-17. The Falcons also named Steve Hoffman as a senior assistant, Justin Peelle as tight ends coach and Matt Pees as a defensive assistant. Pees is the son of new Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees. Peelle coached the Philadelphia Eagles’ tight ends the past six seasons.


Blue Jackets deal unhappy Dubois to Jets for Laine, Roslovic

UNDATED (AP) — After Pierre-Luc Dubois was benched for lack of effort two days ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday traded the unhappy star center to the Winnipeg Jets for Patrik Laine (LY’-nay) and Jack Roslovic.

The 22-year-old Dubois, Columbus’ top-line center, made it clear when he signed a two-year contract before the season that he wanted a change of scenery. Laine, an All-Star winger in the second season of a two-year contract, also had been asking for a trade.

Dubois is a dynamic center whom the Blue Jackets hoped would be one of their building blocks. But he declined to sign a long-term deal and let it be known he wanted to play elsewhere.

Laine also had been asking for a trade. The 22-year-old Finnish winger has an upper-body injury and visa issues to work out. It’s not clear when he’ll be ready to play.

In other NHL news:

— Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn has missed practice a day after his right leg buckled during a collision in the season opener. Coach Rick Bowness provided no update on Benn’s status after Saturday’s practice. The coach only repeated what he said after the 7-0 win Friday night over Nashville. He says Benn is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Benn returned to the game not long after getting hurt in the second period when Dallas built a five-goal lead. He didn’t play in the third period. Dallas plays the Predators again Sunday.

Categories: National Sports