Halladay to Phils, Lee to Seattle in tentative three-team trade
The Phillies have a tentative agreement to acquire star pitcher Roy Halladay in a trade with Toronto, and the former Cy Young Award winner was in Philadelphia on Monday for a physical required to complete the deal.
Part of the trade would have Philadelphia send Cliff Lee, another former Cy Young winner, to the Seattle Mariners.
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The commissioner's office granted a 72-hour window on Sunday for Toronto and Philadelphia to complete their trade, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because Major League Baseball didn't make any announcement.
Philadelphia could give up pitchers J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton and outfielder Dominic Brown as part of a deal, the person said. Those three players also took physicals in Philadelphia on Monday. Blanton is a former University of Kentucky pitcher.
An ESPN source said the Blue Jays could end up with top Mariners pitching prospect Phillippe Aumont, Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and another Phillies prospect.
The 32-year-old Halladay is the most prized pitcher on the trade market. A six-time All-Star and the 2003 AL Cy Young Award winner, the right-hander went 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA for the Blue Jays last season. He led the majors with four shutouts and nine complete games while throwing 239 innings, second to Detroit's Justin Verlander (240).
Lee was a big reason Philadelphia won its second consecutive pennant, going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and two complete games in five post-season starts.
Lackey reaches deal to join Red Sox
The retooling Red Sox made two key moves in one day, reaching tentative agreements with pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike Cameron. Lackey and Boston agreed on a five-year contract, according to a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations. The deal is worth $16 million to $17 million a season, the official said Monday on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not yet final. The Red Sox also reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract with Cameron, according to a person familiar with those negotiations. The moves seem to indicate Boston has abandoned an attempt to re-sign slugging outfielder Jason Bay.
Lackey, the top pitcher on the free-agent market after spending eight seasons with the Angels, was in Boston for a physical Monday needed to complete the deal, the baseball official said. The 31-year-old Lackey would join a rotation headlined by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. Boston also has starters Daisuke Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield on the roster. Cameron, who turns 37 next month, batted .250 with 24 homers and 70 RBI last season for Milwaukee.
Angels, Matsui agree to one-year deal
World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and the Angels reached a preliminary agreement on a one-year contract worth about $6.5 million, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Monday because the contract was not yet final. Matsui surpassed 100 RBI four times in seven seasons with the Yankees after coming over from Japan, where he was an enormous star. He just completed a $52 million, four-year contract with New York.
Matsui hit .274 with 28 homers and 90 RBI last season, then was selected World Series MVP despite starting only three of the six games against Philadelphia. He went 8-for-13 (.615) with three homers and eight RBI, tying a Series record by driving in six runs in Game 6.
Wolf leaves Dodgers for Milwaukee
Left-hander Randy Wolf finalized his $29.75 million, three-year contract with Milwaukee, which also re-signed Craig Counsell to a $2.1 million deal Monday. The Brewers also have a preliminary one-year agreement with reliever Claudio Vargas, a deal pending a physical. Wolf went 11-7 with a 3.23 ERA in 34 starts for the Dodgers last season after agreeing to a $5 million, one-year contract. Wolf went on to make an extra $3 million in performance bonuses with L.A. The Brewers have made starting pitching a priority after finishing last season 80-82 and posting the highest ERA among starters in the majors at 5.37. Wolf is expected to be behind young right-hander Yovani Gallardo at the top of the rotation.
Cardinals' Freese arrested for DUI
Cardinals third baseman David Freese was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Police in Maryland Heights, Mo., said Monday that Freese was stopped at 2:40 a.m. Saturday in suburban St. Louis for a traffic offense, then given a sobriety test. Freese was arrested for driving while intoxicated and failure to drive within a single lane. Freese, 26, has been one of the team's most productive minor-leaguers and was a candidate to start at third base in 2009 after Troy Glaus had off-season shoulder surgery. But in January, Freese's car skidded on ice and wrecked. He injured both feet and eventually had surgery on his left foot, forcing him to miss most of the first half of the season. Freese enters 2010 as perhaps the front-runner for the starting job at third base.
Nationals bring back lefty Olsen
The Nationals and left-hander Scott Olsen agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract Monday. The deal includes performance bonuses that allow Olsen to earn a total of $3,825,000 if he makes 33 starts next year. Olsen made only 11 starts for Washington in 2009, going 2-4 with a 6.03 ERA before surgery on his left shoulder in July.
Court lifts Wickmayer's one-year ban
A Belgian court Monday suspended the one-year doping bans given to tennis players Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse. Wickmayer's lawyers hope the injunction will make the 16th-ranked player eligible to play as soon as possible. The U.S. Open semifinalist hopes to receive a wild card for the Australian Open. Shortly after the ruling, she was offered a wild card to the ASB Classic. The Jan. 4-9 tournament in New Zealand serves as a tuneup for the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam event.
Wickmayer and Malisse were suspended by a Belgian court Nov. 5 for breaking World Anti-Doping Agency rules by failing to report their whereabouts for drug testing three times. The International Tennis Federation imposed the bans worldwide. The 20-year-old Wickmayer claims she was not properly informed of the online reporting requirements for drug-testing that led to her ban.
■ Mast Track, winner of last weekend's Grade III Native Diver Handicap at Hollywood Park, was transferred to the barn of trainer John Shirreffs on Sunday, according to the Daily Racing Form. The 5-year-old had been trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, who died Nov. 16. Mast Track's connections said the horse would race in 2010.
■ Nicole Powell was the first player chosen in the WNBA's dispersal draft of Sacramento Monarchs players Monday, going to the last-place New York Liberty. Former Oklahoma star Courtney Paris was the fourth player selected, going to Chicago. The Monarchs, who won the WNBA title in 2005, ceased operations last month when Maloof Sports & Entertainment decided to focus all its energy and efforts on the NBA's Sacramento Kings.
■ Two-time Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh is pregnant for a second time. Walsh is due at the end of May and her agent says she could be back as early as the end of the 2010 season.
The last word
The Washington Redskins are out of the playoff race, but rookie linebacker Brian Orakpo said they still wouldn't mind spoiling the holidays for a couple of upcoming rivals that remain in the playoff hunt, the Giants and Eagles:
"I'd love to be the Grinch on their Christmas. That's what we're aiming for. Obviously we're not going to make the playoffs, but we would ruin some other people's seasons."