Update on the latest sports
MLB-YANKEES-RED SOX TRADE
Yankees send Ottavino to Boston
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees made a rare trade with the rival Red Sox, sending struggling reliever Adam Ottavino to Boston along with minor league right-hander Frank German for a player to be named or cash.
As part of the trade, the Yankees agreed to send Boston $850,000 on July 1 to cover part of the $8 million owed to Ottavino. He’s a 35-year-old right-hander entering the final season of a $27 million, three-year contract. New York remains responsible for Ottavino’s $3 million signing bonus, due next Jan. 15.
A Brooklyn native, Ottavino slumped to a 5.89 ERA during the 2020 season.
Elsewhere in baseball:
— The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a minor league deal with third baseman Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval would a $1 million, one-year contract if he is added to the team’s 40-man roster. The 34-year-old Sandoval hit .214 in a combined 84 at-bats with the Braves and San Francisco Giants in 2020. He had no hits in two at-bats with Atlanta but was kept on the team’s postseason roster. Sandoval, whose nickname is Kung Fu Panda, will try to prove he can return to the form he showed in 2019, when he hit .268 with 14 homers with the Giants.
— The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed catcher Joe Hudson to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 29-year-old Hudson has appeared in 18 major-league games for St. Louis, Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels. Hudson is a career .167 hitter with one RBI in 30 career at-bats. He will be in the mix to compete for the backup job behind Jacob Stallings, a Gold Glove finalist in 2020.
Community leaders ask for delay in spring training
UNDATED (AP) — The Cactus League and Arizona community leaders have asked Major League Baseball to delay the start of spring training due to coronavirus concerns just over three weeks before pitchers and catchers are supposed to report.
The Cactus League made the request in a letter to Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred obtained by The Associated Press. The letter was co-signed by the mayors of Mesa, Scottsdale, Surprise, Glendale, Goodyear and Peoria, as well as representatives from Phoenix and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Arizona is averaging just under 7,000 new coronavirus cases per day.
Steelers promote QB coach Canada to offensive coordinator
UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t look far to find their new offensive coordinator. The club has promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to the position. Canada replaces Randy Fichtner. Fichtner’s contract was not renewed after the Steelers were upset by Cleveland in the first round of the playoffs. Canada joined the Steelers a year ago following several assistant coaching stints at the collegiate level. Canada takes over an offense that sputtered down the stretch this season. Pittsburgh lost five of its final six games and finished last in the NFL in yards rushing.
In other NFL moves:
—The Indianapolis Colts have made it official: quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He replaces Nick Sirianni, who took the Philadelphia Eagles coaching job Thursday. Brady had been the Colts quarterbacks coach each of the past two years after serving as Indy’s assistant quarterbacks coach each in 2018. Brady spent the previous 16 seasons in the Canadian Football League — the first seven as a player, the last nine as a coach. He is now the third Black offensive coordinator in the league.
— Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion. After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday that the Ravens won’t re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox.
—Police say music artist Trey Songz was arrested during the AFC Championship game in Kansas City after fans complained he wasn’t following COVID-19 protocols and other rules and he then punched an officer who was trying to remove him. Songz, whose name is Tremaine Aldon Neverson, was released Monday from the Jackson County jail.
— Suspended NFL receiver Martavis Bryant has signed with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. The former Steelers and Raiders player had been suspended multiple times by the NFL for substance abuse violations. Bryant, who starred at Clemson, drew an indefinite suspension in 2018 while with Oakland. He has not played in the league since.
— The Indianapolis Colts have made it official: quarterbacks coach Marcus Brady has been promoted to offensive coordinator. He replaces Nick Sirianni, who took the Philadelphia Eagles coaching job Thursday.
— The Pittsburgh Steelers have hired longtime NFL assistant Alfredo Roberts as their new tight ends coach. Roberts replaces James Daniel, who retired earlier this month after 17 seasons with the Steelers and 27 overall in the NFL. Pittsburgh is the sixth NFL stop for Roberts.
Tampa Bay-Carolina postponed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The National Hockey League has postponed the Tampa Bay at Carolina game scheduled for Tuesday because of coronavirus concerns with the Hurricanes.
It’s the fourth consecutive Carolina game that has been postponed, and the Lightning’s game in Raleigh on Thursday could also be in danger. Tuesday’s game has been moved to Feb. 22 as part of several changes to the schedule.
The team had six players on the NHL’s COVID-19 unavailable list when it was last released Sunday.
Carolina, Dallas, Florida, Nashville and Tampa Bay have all had games postponed because of the pandemic. Those teams all play in the realigned Central Division.
In other NHL developments:
—The NHL has placed Chicago Blackhawks forward Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Adam Boqvist on the league’s COVID-19 protocol list. The move means DeBrincat and Boqvist won’t be able to play, practice or travel with the team until they are cleared. Chicago is coming off consecutive victories against Detroit, including a 6-2 win on Sunday. The Blackhawks are scheduled to visit Nashville on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday.
Top three teams unchanged
UNDATED (AP) — Gonzaga, Baylor and Villanova remain atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
The latest Top 25 also saw ninth-ranked Alabama climb to its highest ranking in 14 years.
Gonzaga and Baylor have been 1-2 atop all 10 polls this season. The Crimson Tide had the biggest jump by rising nine spots for their highest ranking since January 2007.
No. 16 Florida State, No. 24 Oklahoma and No. 25 Louisville were new additions to this week’s poll. Clemson, Oregon and Connecticut fell out of the rankings.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-COLLEGE BASKETBALL
More COVID-related postponements
UNDATED (AP) — Boston College has postponed two men’s basketball games this week because of positive COVID-19 tests, prompting the Atlantic Coast Conference to juggle its schedule.
The Eagles were set to play Clemson on Wednesday and No. 25 Louisville on Saturday. Instead, the ACC announced that Louisville will now play at Clemson on Wednesday night.
The conference also rescheduled Georgia Tech’s game at Louisville for Feb. 1. The teams were initially set to play on Jan. 9, but COVID-19 protocols led to the Yellow Jackets postponing four straight games.
In other virus-related developments in college basketball:
— The Southern Conference postponed three games because of positive COVID-19 tests within the Furman and Chattanooga men’s basketball programs. UNC Greensboro at Furman on Monday night and Chattanooga’s visit to East Tennessee on Wednesday night were postponed, and Chattanooga’s game at Furman scheduled for Saturday also was called off.
Thomas keeps major sponsor
UNDATED (AP) — Justin Thomas is keeping another big sponsor in Citi. But only after the New York-based investment bank issued a strong condemnation of Thomas muttering an anti-gay slur when he missed a short putt earlier this month.
Citi’s chief marketing officer wrote a company blog post explaining the decision. The company says Thomas must give a “meaningful portion” of his sponsorship fee to various LGBTQ groups. He also must play an active role to increase awareness. Citi said it would drop him if it felt he wasn’t sincerely working for change.
Ralph Lauren previously ended its sponsorship of Thomas.
In other PGA news:
—Southern Hills is getting another PGA Championship earlier than expected. The PGA of America said the course in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will host the 2022 PGA Championship. It was supposed to go to Trump National in New Jersey. But after the Trump-fueled riot at the U.S. Capitol, the PGA voted to terminate the contract. Kerry Haigh at the PGA of America says it helped that the Senior PGA Championship is at Southern Hills this year. The PGA already has a staff onsite that can stay through next year.