Scherzer, Davis reach agreement with teams
Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer, last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner, and Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis, who led the major leagues with 53 home runs last season, reached rich deals as players and teams swapped proposed figures in salary arbitration.
Ninety-one players reached agreements Friday, leaving 39 headed toward hearings next month in St. Petersburg, Fla., from among the 146 who filed for arbitration earlier in the week.
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Every case settled last year, the first time that happened since the arbitration process began in 1974.
Scherzer and the Tigers agreed to a one-season deal for $15.525 million. Davis agreed to a $10.35 million contract with the Orioles.
Scherzer is eligible for free agency after the season, and Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said the one-year agreement doesn’t necessarily preclude a lengthier deal before opening day.
“We still have that desire,” Dombrowski said.
The Washington Nationals agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and a two-year, $17.5 million deal with shortstop Ian Desmond.
Among players still in arbitration, Cleveland pitcher Justin Masterson asked for the most at $11.8 million, with the Indians offering $8.05 million. The $3.75 million gap is the largest among the pending cases.
Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey had the second-highest request at $11.6 million, with the Reds offering $8.7 million.
The Mariners and two first basemen exchanged figures.
Justin Smoak asked for $3.25 million and was offered $2.025 million by the M’s. Logan Morrison sought $2.5 million and was offered $1.1 million. Last year, Smoak earned $514,000 and Morrison made $491,500.
Vanderbilt hires Mason
Vanderbilt hired Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its coach.
Mason, 44, replaces James Franklin, who left to take the Penn State job last weekend.
“I am so excited to be at Vanderbilt,” Mason said in a news release. “This university combines the best of what’s good about college athletics and academics.”
Ducks lose in Chicago
Marian Hossa scored twice to lead the host Chicago Blackhawks past Anaheim 4-2 to end the Ducks’ winning streak at eight games and hand them their second loss in the past 20 games.
Chicago, the defending Stanley Cup champion, lost in its previous five games against Anaheim.
The Ducks lead the league with 77 points and Chicago is second with 73.
American Ligety wins
Giant-slalom specialist Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, earned his first World Cup super-combined victory in an event in Wengen, Switzerland.
Ligety, 29, won the world championship in the super combined last year and took the combined — one run of downhill and two runs of slalom — in the 2006 Olympics.
The super combined at this year’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is scheduled for Feb. 14.
Ligety’s total time for a slalom and a downhill in Wengen was 2 minutes, 44.74 seconds.
Alexis Pinturault of France was second, 0.22 seconds behind.
Ligety’s previous 19 career World Cup victories were in giant slalom.
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• Based on a straw vote, nearly 60 percent of Division I administrators, commissioners and other officials attending the NCAA convention in San Diego support the concept of autonomy for the nation’s five most powerful conferences on issues that could include giving athletes a stipend toward the full cost of attending college.
The conferences that could be granted autonomy are the Pac-12, Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast.
• NASCAR is planning a restructuring of the points system in its premier Sprint Cup Series that would greatly emphasize winning races and feature eliminations in its Chase playoff system, multiple sources briefed on the plan this week told The Charlotte Observer.
Under the plan, the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship field would expand from 12 to 16 drivers.
A victory in one of the season’s first 26 races would virtually guarantee a driver entry into the 10-race Chase.
• Driver Stephane Peterhansel of France won the last major sandy stage of the Dakar Rally in Chile and overtook Mini teammate Nani Roma of Spain to lead by 26 seconds in the car division going into Saturday’s final stage.
In the motorbikes category, Marc Coma of Spain retained the lead for an eighth day.
• Brazilian striker Neymar of FC Barcelona of Spain will miss about three to four weeks of soccer because of a sprained right ankle.
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