Around the Nation (Feb. 1): Travis Hafner agrees to $2M deal with Yankees

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

BASEBALL

Hafner agrees to $2M deal with Yankees

NEW YORK -- Travis Hafner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn up to $4 million more in bonuses based on plate appearances.

Limited by injuries the past five seasons, the 35-year-old gives the Yankees a designated hitter with power potential from the left side of the plate. He essentially takes over the role filled last season by Raul Ibanez, who signed a $2.75 million, one-year deal with Seattle in December.

Hafner played in only 66 games for Cleveland last year because of knee and back problems and hit .228 with 12 homers and 34 RBI in 263 at-bats. The Indians declined a $13 million option, electing to pay him a $2.75 million buyout.

The signing brings the Yankees' projected payroll to about $208 million for 18 players.

Source: Red Sox sign first baseman Overbay

BOSTON -- An official with knowledge of the deal says the Boston Red Sox have signed first baseman Lyle Overbay to a minor league contract.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

If he makes the Boston roster out of spring training, Overbay would share duties with Mike Napoli.

Overbay is a career .270 hitter with 133 homers and 581 RBI in a 12-year career with the Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Pirates.

White Sox claim 1B Anderson off waivers

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox have claimed Lars Anderson off waivers after the first baseman was cut by the Arizona Diamondbacks last month.

The 25-year-old Anderson played six games for Boston last year and went 1-for-8. He hit .250 with nine homers and 59 RBI in 111 games for Triple-A Pawtucket and Columbus.

Anderson was traded to Cleveland on July 31, and the Indians sent him to Arizona in the December deal that sent pitching prospect Trevor Bauer to Cleveland. The Diamondbacks designated Anderson for assignment on Jan. 24.

The White Sox announced the move on Friday, filling their 40-man roster.

BASKETBALL

Union head Hunter put on indefinite leave

NEW YORK -- Billy Hunter is being placed on an indefinite leave of absence as executive director of the NBA players' association, following a report that was critical of his leadership and decision making.

The union is forming an interim executive committee and advisory committee, president Derek Fisher says in a statement released Friday.

Fisher pushed for the outside review of Hunter and the union, which found no illegal use of funds but cited Hunter for a number of poor choices and urged players to consider whether he should remain in charge during their All-Star weekend meetings.

Fisher says "immediate change is necessary."

Union attorney Ron Klempner was appointed acting executive director.

Celtics' Jared Sullinger will miss season

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics first-round draft choice Jared Sullinger had back surgery on Friday and will miss the rest of the season.

The team said Sullinger underwent successful lumbar disc surgery. He is expected to be ready in time for next season's training camp.

Sullinger had been tabbed as a lottery pick before health concerns dropped him to 21st overall in the draft. He appeared in 45 games, averaging six points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game.

The announcement comes five days after All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo was diagnosed with a torn ACL that will keep him out for the rest of the season.

NBA suspends Barnes one game for hitting player in throat

NEW YORK -- The NBA has suspended Matt Barnes of the Los Angeles Clippers for one game Friday because he hit an opponent during a game.

Barnes struck Greg Stiemsma of the Minnesota Timberwolves in the neck in the second quarter of the Clippers' 96-90 win Wednesday night. Barnes will miss the Clippers' game Friday night against the Toronto Raptors.

UNC's Hatchell goes for 900th win at Duke

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- This could be a huge weekend for North Carolina's Sylvia Hatchell.

A victory over rival Duke Sunday would make it 900 career wins for the veteran Tar Heels coach.

Hatchell said Friday that "I'd be lying if I said it didn't matter" that the milestone victory could come against the fifth-ranked Blue Devils.

She is the winningest active women's coach in Division I with an 899-316 record in her 38th season. She's poised to join Pat Summitt and Jody Conradt in the 900-win club. Rutgers' C. Vivian Stringer is two wins behind Hatchell.

Hatchell says the focus isn't on No. 900 but on her 11th-ranked Tar Heels (20-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) catching first-place Duke (19-1, 9-0) in the league standings.

FOOTBALL

LSU board approves Miles' $549K pay raise

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU football coach Les Miles has a new seven-year contract that pays him a $4.3 million annual salary and keeps him in Tiger Stadium through the 2019 season.

The university system's Board of Supervisors backed the contract extension Friday, giving Miles a $549,000 -- or 15 percent -- increase.

"When you study the body of work that the man has done over the last eight years, I believe that he has run a quality program, one of the top programs in the country. And in my evaluation, all indications look like we're still going to be there, we're going to stay on that track," Athletics Director Joe Alleva told the board.

Since becoming LSU's coach in 2005, Miles has lodged the second-highest number of wins in university history, with a record of 85-21. LSU finished No. 14 for the 2012 season, going 10-3 and losing to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

GOLF

Mickelson stays hot, but misses chance for tour 36-hole record

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Mickelson birdied the ninth hole a day too late and missed a chance to break the PGA Tour's 36-hole scoring record when he finished with a double bogey after driving into the water.

Mickelson followed his opening 60 with a 65 on Friday in the Phoenix Open to reach 17-under 125, a stroke off the tour record for the first two rounds of a tournament set by Pat Perez in the 2009 Bob Hope Classic and matched by David Toms at Colonial in 2011.

Mickelson tied the Phoenix Open record set by Mark Calcavecchia in 2001.

Garrettsville native Colt Knost had a much better second round and advanced to weekend play. After a 71 in the first round, Knost came back with a 65 on Friday and sits at 6-under after two rounds of play.

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