Closer J.J. Putz has agreed to a $13.5 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a deal that adds a $7 million salary for 2014. He is a former Mariner.

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Putz agrees to longer deal

with Diamondbacks

Closer J.J. Putz has agreed to a $13.5 million, two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a deal that adds a $7 million salary for 2014.

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Arizona exercised Putz’s $6.5 million option in October and the former Mariner would have been eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

The 35-year-old right-hander had 32 saves in 37 chances and a 2.82 earned-run average last year, converting 19 straight save chances from late May through August. He had a 0.84 ERA from June 23 through the end of the season.

“I’m very happy to be a member of the great D-backs organization and family through 2014,” Putz said.

Putz pitched for the Mariners from 2003 through 2008, appearing in 308 games. He had a 22-15 record, 101 saves and a 3.07 ERA with Seattle.

A’s extend Melvin’s contract

Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin got a two-year contract extension that takes him through the 2016 season.

Melvin, 51, was voted 2012 American League manager of the year after guiding the A’s to a 94-68 record and the AL West title.

“This was probably the simplest negotiation I’ve ever had in my career here,” Oakland general manager Billy Beane told “This is something I initiated.”

Melvin managed the Mariners for two seasons, going 93-69 in 2003 and 63-99 in 2004.

Players can seek arbitration

Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus was among players agreeing to one-year contracts, leaving 133 eligible to file for salary arbitration Tuesday.

Rasmus, 26, will make $4.675 million. He is a .243 career hitter who had a .223 average for the Blue Jays last year.

Fans might see interpreters

Interpreters might be able to make mound trips with managers and pitching coaches this year. Owners approved the proposed rule change last week.

The change, intended to assist pitchers not fluent in English, goes to the players’ association, which also must approve it for the change to start this year.


McIlroy officially joins Nike

Rory McIlroy, ranked No. 1 in the world, and Tiger Woods are on the same team — at least when it comes to sponsorship.

McIlroy officially made the switch to the swoosh as Nike confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in golf, announcing it had signed a multiyear deal with the 23-year-old Northern Irishman.

Woods, a winner of 14 major championships, has been with Nike since turning pro in 1996. Nike did not disclose financial details, but industry observers have estimated McIlroy will be paid up to $20 million a year to use the company’s golf equipment and apparel.

The partnership with McIlroy was announced in a lavish ceremony in the United Arab Emirates ahead of this week’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, where he will use the Nike equipment in competition for the first time.

In October, McIlroy cut ties with Acushnet Co., which had supplied him with Titleist and FootJoy gear since he turned pro in 2007.

McGinley might be captain

Paul McGinley appears to be the front-runner to become Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for 2014 after Darren Clarke raised doubts about taking on the responsibility.

Irishman McGinley, 46, has played on three winning Ryder Cup sides and was vice captain for Europe in 2010 and for its improbable comeback victory last year.

Clarke, 44, was the favorite until last week, when he raised concerns about the impact the captaincy would have on a playing career he feels is on the rebound after a difficult 2012.

McGinley and Clarke have long been considered the two main candidates to succeed Jose Maria Olazabal as captain.

Tom Watson was named captain of the American team last month. Davis Love III was the previous captain.


• Ten-time Dakar Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel of France took a commanding lead in the car category after finishing second to Nani Roma of Spain in the ninth stage from Tucuman to Cordoba in Argentina.

Peterhansel leads second-place Giniel de Villiers of South Africa by 49 minutes, 31 seconds.

Ruben Faria of Portugal leads the motorbikes category.

• Skier Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., is skipping a World Cup slalom Tuesday in Flachau, Austria, because she has not been able to practice enough in the event. Defending overall champion Vonn has missed all the World Cup slaloms this season.

• Running back Cierre Wood of Notre Dame said he will forgo his final season of college eligibility to enter the NFL draft.

Alissa Czisny, a two-time U.S. figure-skating champion, has withdrawn from next week’s nationals after dislocating her left hip Saturday.

The nationals begin Jan. 24 in Omaha, Neb.

• Hall of Famer Kathy Gregory retired as UC Santa Barbara women’s volleyball coach with 882 victories in 38 seasons.

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