Mariners sign Nelson Cruz to 4-year deal

SEATTLE (AP) — Free agent slugger Nelson Cruz and the Seattle Mariners neared agreement on a contract, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The pair spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized and was still pending a physical.

El Caribe in the Dominican Republic first reported the agreement, saying it was worth $57 million over for four years.

Cruz led the majors with 40 home runs last season and had 108 RBIs for Baltimore, which signed him to an $8 million, one-year deal. He served a 50-game suspension in 2013 for violations of the major league drug agreement in relation to the sport’s Biogenesis investigation.

Adderall caused most of MLB’s failed tests

NEW YORK (AP) — While 113 big leaguers had exemptions in the past year to use otherwise banned substances to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Adderall caused eight of the 10 positive tests for stimulants under Major League Baseball’s drug program.

A report released by MLB’s independent program administrator detailed the findings. Dr. Jeffrey M. Anderson’s report showed that therapeutic use exemptions given to 40-man roster players to treat ADHD were down from the 119 in the year ending with the 2013 World Series.

Rays trade utility man Rodriguez

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays traded utilityman Sean Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a player to be named and cash. Pittsburgh designated first baseman Gaby Sanchez for assignment.

Wambach finalist for Player of the Year

ZURICH (AP) — American forward Abby Wambach is among the finalists for FIFA Women’s Player of the Year.

Wambach, the 2012 winner, is competing with Brazilian forward Marta, a five-time winner from 2006-10, and German midfielder Nadine Kessler, seeking the honor for the first time.

Forwards Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Lionel Messi of Argentina are finalists for the men’s honor along with German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, FIFA said. Ronaldo won in 2008 and 2013, while Messi won four in a row from 2009-12.

Winners will be announced Jan. 12.

Doctors: Pele in better condition

SAO PAULO (AP) — Doctors said Pele is in good condition and will remain off kidney support treatment.

The Albert Einstein hospital said the 74-year-old Brazilian great was reevaluated and doctors decided not to put him back on the hemodialysis that had been needed to help support his only kidney. The hospital said Pele remains in an intensive care unit but is “lucid” and “stable.”

Henry set to leave Red Bulls

HARRISON, N.J. (AP) — Thierry Henry is leaving Major League Soccer after 4 1/2 seasons, unable to lead the New York Red Bulls to the team’s first championship.

The 37-year-old French star made the announcement two days after the Red Bulls lost the Eastern Conference final to the New England Revolution. He said he made the decision back in 2010 to leave when his contract expired.

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