AP source: Nats, Soriano agree on $28M deal
WASHINGTON — Reliever Rafael Soriano and the Washington Nationals reached agreement pending a physical on a $28 million, two-year contract that includes $14 million in deferred money, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet official, the person said Soriano’s contract contains a $14 million option for 2015 that would become guaranteed if he reaches 120 games finished over 2013 and 2014 combined.
Soriano, who turned 33 in December, would join a Nationals bullpen that already includes Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard. Both of those right-handers closed games for the NL East champions last season.
The Soriano-Nationals negotiations were first reported by Yahoo Sports.
Posey, Heyward among 133 who file for arbitration
NEW YORK — San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward and Boston outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury are among 133 players who have filed for salary arbitration.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza and Giants outfielder Hunter Pence also are among those who filed Tuesday.
Six extra players filed because of a change to baseball’s labor contract: Washington reliever Drew Storen, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera, Toronto catcher Josh Thole, Tampa Bay outfielder Sam Fuld, Colorado outfielder Tyler Colvin and Arizona third baseman Chris Johnson.
Mark Grace blames self for D’backs firing, not team
PHOENIX — Former Arizona Diamondbacks television analyst Mark Grace says he blames himself, not the team, for firing him last season.
The former first baseman with the Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs was fired after he was arrested last August in Scottsdale — his second drunken driving arrest in 15 months.
Grace has pleaded not guilty in October to four felony counts of aggravated DUI. His trial is scheduled for March 19.
Though the Diamondbacks fired Grace after his most recent arrest, the team invited him to participate in a fantasy camp now under way in Scottsdale.
Virginia Tech QB Thomas coming back in 2013
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is returning for his senior season.
The 6-foot-6 junior told the coaching staff on Tuesday, the final day to declare for the draft.
Thomas had said before the Hokies left Blacksburg, Va., for the Russell Athletic Bowl that his decision would be “up in the air” even if the NFL draft advisory board suggested he could be a first-round draft choice. He said he didn’t think he was consistent enough to be a winning NFL quarterback, and that “I love the university, I love the people here, all my friends are still here, and ... I think I need some work to do.”
He says the NFL remains his goal “while college is only a five-year experience that you can’t get back.”
Syracuse staffer pleads not guilty in video case
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The former media director for Syracuse University’s athletic department pleaded not guilty to charges he secretly videotaped male athletes in the locker room.
Roger Springfield was arraigned Tuesday morning in Onondaga County Court on four counts of unlawful surveillance. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court Jan. 22.
Prosecutors say the charges stem from at least four secret videos the 57-year-old made between the spring of 2010 and November 2012. Authorities say the videos were made in the locker rooms of the football team and the men’s lacrosse and soccer teams.
By wire sources