NEW YORK (AP) New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman agreed to accept a 30-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy, a penalty stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend last October.
Under the discipline, the four-time All-Star will serve the penalty from the start of the Yankees' season on April 4. He will lose 30 days of pay – $1,856,557 of his $11,325,000 salary. The agreement specifies he will be eligible for free agency after this season barring any additional suspension for off-the-field conduct that would cost him the necessary service time.
Chapman became the first player penalized a finite number of games under the policy, which MLB and the players' association agreed to in August following several high-profile incidents among NFL players. Colorado shortstop Jose Reyes was given an indefinite paid suspension last week, pending a trial scheduled for April 4, following an alleged altercation with him wife in October.
Baseball's investigation of Chapman stemmed from Oct. 30. Chapman's girlfriend, 22-year-old Cristina Barnea, told police he pushed and choked her. Chapman said there was an argument but that he was pushed down by Barnea's brother, eventually getting a handgun and firing eight shots into a wall and window while locked in his garage.
NEW YORK (AP) – President Barack Obama plans to attend the Tampa Bay Rays' exhibition game in Cuba on March 22.
Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications and speechwriting, tweeted the announcement after Major League Baseball and the players' association announced arrangements had been finalized for the game against the Cuban National Team in Havana.
It will be MLB's first trip to the communist island nation since the Baltimore Orioles played there in 1999. The game will be televised by ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) – Salvador Perez and the Kansas City Royals agreed to a contract through 2021 guaranteeing the All-Star catcher an additional $52.5 million over five seasons.
Perez's agreement was announced one day after his mother, Yilda, had her SUV stolen at gunpoint in Venezuela. His mother was unharmed and the vehicle was later recovered by the national police.
Perez signed with the Royals as a 16-year-old prospect from Venezuela, but shot through the minor league system. He made his big league debut in 2011, became the everyday backstop the following season and has made voted to the All-Star Game each of the past three years.
Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and fellow All-Pro players Josh Norman and Eric Berry were given franchise tags on the NFL's deadline to do so.
In all, nine players were slapped with the franchise tag and one, Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon, got the transition tag.
Broncos linebacker Miller was the only player to get the exclusive tag, at $14.129 million, meaning no other team can make him an offer.
Panthers cornerback Norman and Chiefs safety Berry were among the eight who received non-exclusive designations, so other clubs can make offers, but their current teams have the right to match or get compensated with two first-round draft picks.
Also getting tagged with free agency set to begin on March 9 were Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, Ravens placekicker Justin Tucker, Bills tackle Cordy Glenn and Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson.
The players have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with their teams. If they can't – and most franchises are eager to get these players locked up for several years – then the salary for 2016 is determined by the tag designation.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Sam Bradford agreed to a two-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bradford joined the Eagles last season and compiled some career bests, but the team finished 7-9 and coach Chip Kelly was fired. But new coach Doug Pederson and the team's front office decided to keep the injury-prone free agent quarterback.
Bradford, 28, was acquired by the Eagles in a trade a year ago with the Rams that sent Philadelphia's incumbent quarterback, Nick Foles, to St. Louis. Bradford started 14 games and threw for a career-high 3,725 yards, the fourth-highest yardage total in franchise history. Bradford's 346 completions and his career-best 65.03 completion percentage both were Eagles single-season records.
The top overall choice in the 2010 draft by the Rams, Bradford was the Offensive Rookie of the Year. But knee injuries curtailed his progress. He missed seven games in 2013 and all of the 2014 season.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota coach Richard Pitino has suspended guards Kevin Dorsey, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer for the remainder of the season, stemming from a sexually explicit video that appeared on Dorsey's social media accounts.
Pitino announced the punishment in a statement issued by the university, after ''careful and continued consideration.'' He had said Monday on his radio show he anticipated the trio to play Wednesday against Wisconsin.
The clip was posted Friday on Dorsey's Instagram and Twitter feeds, both of which were disabled about a half-hour later. The trio was benched Sunday for the game at Illinois because of the video, according to a person with knowledge of the discipline who spoke Monday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. The players were not under investigation for any criminal charges, the person said.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kevin Martin has accepted a buyout of his contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Martin sent a text message confirming the news to The Associated Press about 30 minutes before the 11 p.m. Central deadline for Martin to be eligible to play in the postseason.
Martin has been one of the most consistent shooters in the league over the last decade. But he has struggled this season, averaging just 10.6 points per game and shooting 36.9 percent from 3-point range in 39 games.
With the Timberwolves far out of playoff contention, Martin pushed to get a buyout in hopes of joining a team that will push for the postseason.