MLB players agree to deals — Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus, Baltimore pitcher Tommy Hunter and Oakland catcher George Kottaras agreed to one-year contracts, leaving 133 players eligible to file for salary arbitration today. Rasmus gets $4,675,000 under Monday’s agreement, Hunter $1.82 million and Kottaras $1 million. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward, Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, of Madras, Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence are among those eligible to file. Players and teams are scheduled to swap proposed salaries Friday, and hearings before three-arbitrator panels will take place next month in Phoenix.
Oakland gives manager extension — Bob Melvin has repeatedly described the comfort of managing right at home in the Bay Area — and Billy Beane has described the comfort in having a winning, “modern-day" manager leading the Oakland Athletics. Melvin is staying put in the very place he wants to be well into the future. The A’s manager received a two-year contract extension Monday that takes him through the 2016 season.
Slain Chiefs LB’s girlfriend shot 9 times — An autopsy shows that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times before he killed himself. The Jackson County Medical Examiner released the results of autopsies performed on Belcher and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, following their deaths on Dec. 1. Police say Belcher killed Perkins at the couple’s Kansas City home, then drove to the team’s practice site and committed suicide in front of his coach and general manager.
Dolphins planning upgrades — Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross unveiled a plan to modernize Sun Life Stadium on Monday, and promising to personally cover the majority of the $400 million estimated cost of the project. The rest would come from tax dollars, and that would likely need approval from both state and local lawmakers.
USC fires basketball coach — Kevin O’Neill took over a troubled Southern California basketball team, getting the Trojans back to the NCAA tournament after NCAA issues kept them out in his first season while producing winning records twice in 3 ½ years. It wasn’t enough. He was fired on Monday, with the Trojans 7-10 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-12 after splitting their road trip last weekend. He had a 48-65 record at the school known primarily for its powerful football program after going 6-26 last year while setting a USC record for losses.
Nike announces deal with McIlroy — Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are on the same team now — at least when it comes to sponsorship. McIlroy officially made the switch to the swoosh on Monday as Nike confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in golf, announcing it had signed a multi-year deal with the top-ranked Northern Irishman. The deal means Nike now has golf’s two biggest names representing its brand, as Woods has been with the sportswear company since turning pro in 1996. Nike did not disclose any financial details of the deal, but industry observers have estimated that McIlroy will be paid up to $20 million a year to use the company’s equipment and apparel.
Vonn skips slalom, citing lack of training — Lindsey Vonn is skipping a World Cup night slalom Tuesday because she has not been able to practice enough in the event. Vonn, the defending overall champion, is missing from the list of 68 competitors published Monday by skiing’s governing body. Vonn has missed all six slalom races this season. “It’s her goal to race where she has the chance to win," U.S. women’s head coach Alex Hoedlmoser said. “And without any slalom training, there is no chance to win a slalom."
— From wire reports