Tuesday's Sports In Brief

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Associated Press

Posted on December 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 8:03 AM

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said.

Ellsbury is the second major free-agent addition in the Yankees' offseason rebuilding after missing the playoffs for just the second time in 19 years. The center fielder was to take a physical in New York on Wednesday that he must pass before the deal can be finalized, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day, New York finalized an $85 million, five-year contract with All-Star catcher Brian McCann.

Ellsbury, who turned 30 in September, led the majors with 52 stolen bases despite being hobbled late in the season by a broken right foot. The lefty-hitting leadoff man batted .298 with nine homers and 53 RBIs, and the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium should boost his power numbers.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Tony Clark said he's "blown away" that he is the first former major leaguer to become head of the baseball players' union.

The executive board of the Major League Baseball Players Association voted unanimously to appoint Clark to replace Michael Weiner, who died Nov. 21 of brain cancer. The decision is pending a vote of the general membership.

Clark was an All-Star in 2001 and played for 15 seasons with Detroit, Arizona, the New York Mets, New York Yankees, Boston and San Diego. The 41-year-old was appointed deputy executive director in July and had been acting executive director since Weiner's death.

MIAMI (AP) — Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is going from the World Series champions to a team that lost 100 games.

Saltalamacchia agreed to a $21 million, three-year deal with the Miami Marlins, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Saltalamacchia started the past three seasons for the Boston Red Sox, who were reluctant to offer him a multiyear deal. The switch-hitter batted a career-high .273 with 15 homers, 40 doubles and 65 RBIs last season. He hit .188 in the postseason and was benched during the World Series.

BOSTON (AP) — Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said.

The lefty-hitting Pierzynski and righty David Ross, the backup, both will be 37 next season.

Pierzynski hit .272 with 17 homers and 70 RBIs last season, his only one with the Texas Rangers. He walked just 11 times and doesn't fit the Red Sox preference for patient hitters who work the count. In 2012, he had 27 homers and 28 walks, both career highs.

SKIING

LAKE LOUISE, Alberta (AP) — Lindsey Vonn was cleared to get back on a World Cup course for downhill training, the latest step as she works to return from a right knee injury and get ready for the Sochi Olympics.

Now Vonn — and the rest of the skiing world — will wait to find out whether she'll actually be racing by the end of this week. The four-time overall World Cup champion and reigning Olympic downhill gold medalist is expected to start 10th in Wednesday's first official training session at Lake Louise.

The U.S. Ski team added that a decision would not be made until Thursday on whether Vonn will return to competition for the first time since tearing right knee ligaments in a high-speed crash at the world championships last February. The scheduled races at Lake Louise — a site Vonn has dominated in the past, including three-victory sweeps in 2011 and 2012 — are downhills on Friday and Saturday, with a super-G on Sunday.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA agreed to a six-year extension with football coach Jim Mora, putting him under contract through 2019.

The Bruins moved swiftly to fend off any potential advances from Washington, where Mora was a walk-on defensive back and a graduate assistant more than 30 years ago. The Huskies have a coaching vacancy after Steve Sarkisian left Monday for USC.

UCLA is 18-8 in two seasons under Mora, returning to national prominence heading into the Bruins' second straight trip to a bowl game.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Quarterback Marcus Mariota has announced that he will return to Oregon for his junior season.

There had been speculation that Mariota might declare himself eligible for the NFL. Following Oregon's 36-35 victory over Oregon State in the Civil War last Friday, he said he hadn't yet made a decision.

But the school announced on its website that Mariota would stay, along with junior Hroniss Grasu, a three-year starter at center.

Mariota has thrown 30 touchdowns this season for the Ducks, who finished the regular season 10-2.

PRO FOOTBALL

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Five former Kansas City Chiefs players who were on the team between 1987 and 1993 filed a lawsuit claiming the team hid and even lied about the risks of head injuries during that time period when there was no collective bargaining agreement in place in the NFL.

The lawsuit was filed in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of former players Leonard Griffin, Chris Martin, Joe Phillips, Alexander Louis Cooper and Kevin Porter, all of whom played on defense. It seeks more than $15,000 in actual and punitive damages. All five players have opted out of a multimillion-dollar settlement announced this summer that would compensate former players for their head injuries.

AUTO RACING

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jeff Burton became NBC Sports Group's first hire for the broadcast booth when the network decided the respected driver was a must-have analyst for its upcoming NASCAR coverage.

NBCUniversal has the exclusive rights to the final 20 Sprint Cup Series races, and final 19 Nationwide Series events beginning in 2015 and select NASCAR Regional & Touring Series events and other live content also beginning in 2015. The network last covered NASCAR between 2001 and 2006.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tony Stewart said ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing.

Stewart made the announcement that Mobil 1 will continue its relationship with him and his team while hosting the year-end edition of "Tony Stewart Live" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor on Stewart's Chevrolet for 11 races. Stewart missed the final four months of the season with a broken leg, but is expected to return to his car at the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.

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