BASEBALL

Dodgers pay Maeda $1M trade bonus as part of trade to Twins

NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to pay Kenta Maeda’s $1 million assignment bonus as part of their trade of the pitcher to the Minnesota Twins.
Los Angeles also agreed to pay the Twins $3 million to cover part of Maeda’s salary and reimburse Minnesota for up to $7 million of his earned bonuses, according to information obtained by The Associated Press.
Meada’s maximum cost to the Twins would be $3,713,500 this year if he earns $13.15 million, his total if he reaches all his roster and performance and bonus levels. His maximum to Minnesota would be $12,586,500 in 2021 and $13.15 million in both 2022 and ’23, a total exposure to the Twins of $42.6 million.
Los Angeles will pay $2,436,500 this year split into in 12 installments on the 15th and last day of each month from April through September. The first four installments are $203,041.66 and the last eight $203,041.67.
A final payment of $563,500 is due on June 30, 2021.
Meada was acquired with catcher Jair Camargo on Monday for right-hander Brusdar Graterol, outfielder Luke Raley and the Twins’ competitive balance round B pick in this year’s amateur draft, the 67th overall.
Maeda agreed before the 2016 season to a $25 million, eight-year contract with the Dodgers that would have been worth $106.2 million if made at least 32 starts and pitched a minimum of 200 innings each year.
He has a yearly salary of $3 million and an annual bonus of $150,000 if he is on the opening-day active roster. He can receive $6.5 million annually based on starts: $1 million each for 15 and 20, and $1.5 million apiece for 25, 30 and 32 starts.
He can earn $3.5 million per season for innings: $250,000 for 90 and each additional 10 through 190, and $750,000 for 200.
Meada reached 32 starts only in his first season with the Dodgers, when he pitched 175 2/3 innings, which remains his big league high.
He earned $11.9 million in 2016, $7.9 million in 2017, $6.15 million in 2018 and $8.4 million last year. The $34.35 million total was 65% of the $52.6 million he could have made.

Red Sox to send Dodgers $48M in 18 installments over 3 years

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boston Red Sox will make their $48 million in payments to the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of the David Price and Mookie Betts trade in 18 equal installments over the next three years.
Boston will send Los Angeles $2,666,667 on the 15th of each month from April through September in 2020, 2021 and 2022 as part of the deal announced Monday, according to details obtained by The Associated Press.
The $48 million is equal to half of what Price is owed for the remainder of the $217 million, seven-year contract he agreed to with Boston ahead of the 2016 season. He is due $32 million in each of the next three seasons.
Betts has a $27 million salary this year and is eligible for free agency.
Boston’s net savings of $43 million this year — Betts’ salary and half of Price’s — drops the team’s projected luxury tax payroll below the $208 million threshold. The Red Sox paid $11.95 million in tax following their World Series title in 2018 and $13.4 million in tax after missing the playoffs last year.
If the Red Sox exceed the threshold for the third straight season, they would pay at a 50% rate on the first $20 million over, a 62% rate on the amount over $228 million and a 95% rate on the amount above $248 million.
As part of the trade, Boston acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo, infielder Jeter Downs and catcher-infielder Connor Wong.

Tingler: Padres star Tatis Jr. to remain at shortstop

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Fernando Tatis Jr. will continue to make his diving, spinning moves at shortstop rather than in center field, rookie San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Wednesday.
Tingler said he has no plans to give the Padres’ most dynamic player even a few spring training reps in center field. That thought popped up in the offseason when the Padres had preliminary talks with Cleveland about shortstop Francisco Lindor.
The rumors gained brief traction after the Padres traded center fielder Manuel Margot to Tampa Bay for reliever Emilio Pagán on Saturday.
“We have considered a couple center fielders; we never once discussed, honestly, Tatis being out there,” Tingler said in his opening news conference of spring.
Tatis’ aggressive style of play contributed to him playing only 84 games last year. He thrust himself into the race for NL Rookie of the Year with his spectacular play before a stress reaction in his lower back ended his season in mid-August. The 21-year-old also missed time early in the season with a hamstring injury.
Between the two injuries, he hit .317 with 22 home runs, 53 RBIs, 16 stolen bases and a .590 slugging percentage.
Tingler said all the medical reports on Tatis were positive and there will be no physical limitations on him during spring training.
“He’s been out here early, he’s swung the bat, he’s running, he’s playing defense, so we do not expect any limitations,” the manager said.

Astros’ Bregman, Altuve apologize for sign-stealing scheme

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Avoiding any specifics about their team’s sign-stealing during its 2017 World Series championship season, Houston Astros players Alex Bregman and José Altuve apologized Thursday for the scheme that was investigated and punished by Major League Baseball.
Astros owner Jim Crane and new manager Dusty Baker — who replaced the fired AJ Hinch — also spoke at a news conference at the team’s spring training facility.
And while the clear purpose was to say, “We’re sorry” and hope to move on, Crane raised eyebrows with this statement: “Our opinion is that this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series. And we’ll leave it at that.”
Asked moments later about his statement about the effects on the game, Crane tried to backtrack, saying, “It’s hard to determine how it impacted the game, if it impacted the game.”
MLB did not punish any players for the cheating and Crane said he stood by that.
“We’re not going to do anything to the players,” the owner said.

BASKETBALL

James’ triple double, Davis lead Lakers past Nuggets 120-116

DENVER (AP) — LeBron James wasn’t about to coast into the All-Star break, and neither was Anthony Davis.
“I could tell they were locked in pregame. LeBron had his jersey with like 80 minutes to go before the game,” guard Alex Caruso said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ 120-116 overtime triumph in Denver on Wednesday night.
James posted his 12th triple-double of the season, tied with Luka Doncic for the NBA lead, and Davis scored seven of his 33 points in overtime as the Western Conference leaders took a 41-12 record and a four-game lead over second-place Denver into the All-Star break.
“I was trying to be laser sharp, laser focused as I could,” James said. “I know the break was coming, but I wasn’t going to take this opportunity for granted. I wanted to play extremely well tonight for our ballclub and I wanted us to play extremely well going into the break on a high note. And our team, we responded very well.”
The Nuggets were the hottest team in the league, having won six of seven, including short-handed stunners at Milwaukee and Utah.
So, James, who had 32 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, saw this as playoff prep.
“Every opportunity we get to play in a close game against a tough opponent, it’s a learning experience for all of us,” he said. “It prepares us for a postseason game where it’s going to be back and forth, back and forth. I thought tonight was a playoff atmosphere for both teams, being No. 1 and No. 2 in the Western Conference, jockeying for position. We were just trying to make plays whatever it takes. And A.D. was there knocking down big 3s and getting a block and getting some stops, the jump ball, as well. It was big time.”
In addition to his 33 points, Davis tied up All-Star Nikola Jokic for a key jump ball late in regulation when the officials had to waive off the basket by Denver’s big man after he muscled the ball away from Davis and into the basket.
Jokic has 22 points and 11 rebounds for Denver, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped.

Kristi Toliver ready for second stint in Los Angeles

NEW YORK (AP) — Kristi Toliver is ready for her second go-round in Los Angeles.
The two-time WNBA champion signed as a free agent with the Sparks on Monday, leaving Washington, where she helped the Mystics win their first title. Toliver said the decision to returnk to Los Angeles was partly financial.
“I just wasn’t offered the money I deserved,” Toliver said on a conference call Wednesday night.
The 33-year-old Toliver spent seven years in Los Angeles, helping the team win the WNBA championship in 2016. She then played the last three years in Washington, close to where she grew up in Virginia and played in college at Maryland.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to make. I love the city of D.C. I love Ted Leonsis as an owner,” she said. “The three years I got to spend there were the best times of my life. … When free agency came about, it was difficult to pull the trigger to leave.”
Toliver said she also had conversations with Minnesota, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Connecticut. In the end, the familiarity she had with Los Angeles helped sway her.
“I’m looking forward to round two with this LA group,” Toliver said. “It’s going to be a different experience. The team is going to be different than when I left in 2016. There are a lot of working pieces and great people there. I’m looking forward to the challenge coming back three years later, three years more experienced. Seeing if we can do this thing again.”

Worku leads UC Irvine past UC Riverside 63-59

RIVERSIDE (AP) — Eyassu Worku scored 18 points to lead UC Irvine past UC Riverside 63-59 on Wednesday night.
Collin Welp added 17 points for the Anteaters (16-10, 8-2 Big West Conference). Evan Leonard had 13 points. Brad Greene led the team with 10 rebounds.
Dominick Pickett led the Highlanders (14-12, 4-6) with 17 points. Callum McRae added 16 points and seven rebounds. Khyber Kabellis had 10 points and seven assists. UC Riverside has now lost three straight games.
UC IrRvine takes n Hawaii on Saturday. UC Riverside matches up against Long Beach State on Saturday.

NCAA

2 Ohio State football players plead not guilty to rape

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two former Ohio State football players pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that they held a woman against her will and raped her this month.
Defensive backs Amir Riep and Jahsen Wint — who were kicked off the team Wednesday after the charges came to light — made an initial appearance in Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus, and their respective attorneys entered pleas of not guilty.
Judge Cynthia Ebner set bond at $100,000 for Riep and $75,000 for Wint and ordered that the men not have contact with the accuser or each other. They also were ordered not to discuss her on social media.
The case now will go to a grand jury, which will decide whether the men should be indicted.
Wint’s attorney, Sam Shamansky, declared his client innocent, pointing out that Columbus police waited seven days to arrest him.
“Were my client some stone-cold rapist, kidnapper, he wouldn’t have been on the street for seven minutes, not to mention seven days,” Shamansky said. “This case is so full of reasonable doubt it’s beyond belief. The reality is, my kid’s innocent.”
The woman told police that on Feb. 4 she started having consensual sex with Riep before Wint came into the room and both forced her into sex.
After several minutes, they stopped and Riep told the woman that she needed to say what happened was “consensual on a video recording while laughing at her,” according to police. Riep then told the woman she needed to shower before he drove her back to her home.
Officials said in court that police have the video recording.

SOCCER

US soccer men’s union says women’s pay should be tripled

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. men’s national team urged the U.S. Soccer Federation to sharply increase pay of the American women and accused the governing body of making low-ball offers in negotiations with the men.
The union for the women’s team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the USSF that is scheduled for trial starting May 5 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The women agreed to a collective bargaining agreement in April 2017 that extends through 2021. The men’s labor contract expired at the end of 2018.
“The women’s 2017-2021 deal is worse than the men’s 2011-2018 deal,” the men’s union said in a statement Wednesday. “The federation continues to discriminate against the women in their wages and working conditions. … What we believe should happen is simple. Pay the women significantly more than our recently expired men’s deal. In our estimation, the women were due at least triple what our expired deal was worth in player compensation.”
The men claimed the federation wants their pay to stay at the same level as in their expired contract.
“It’s a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that what they did to the women in 2017 is indefensible,” the statement said.