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Reports: Ellsbury to Yankees

Free-agent centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has agreed to a lucrative deal with the Yankees, reports say.

THE WORLD champion Boston Red Sox are in a state of flux.

Yesterday, according to multiple reports, which cited sources, free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a 1-year contract with the team, former Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia agreed to a 3-year, $21 million deal with the Miami Marlins, and free-agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury reached agreement on a 7-year contract with the rival New York Yankees.

Ellsbury and Saltalamacchia were key contributors to Boston's world championship team.

According to reports by and, Ellsbury's deal exceeds Carl Crawford's 7-year, $142 million contract with the Red Sox in December 2010.

The deals are subject to the players passing physicals.

Meanwhile, a source told that the Yankees' chances of retaining All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, a free agent, are less than 50-50.

In other baseball news:

* The Tampa Bay Rays acquired catcher Ryan Hanigan from the Cincinnati Reds and reliever Heath Bell from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team trade. The deal was announced after Hanigan agreed to a 3-year, $10.75 million contract. Tampa Bay sent minor league pitcher Justin Choate and a player to be named to the Diamondbacks. Arizona dealt lefthander David Holmberg to Cincinnati.

* The Oakland Athletics acquired righthanded reliever Luke Gregerson from the San Diego Padres for outfielder Seth Smith. Also, the A's added outfield depth by acquiring Craig Gentry along with righthander Josh Lindblom from Texas for outfielder Michael Choice and minor league infielder Chris Bostick.

* The Houston Astros acquired outfielder Dexter Fowler from the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Brandon Barnes and righthander Jordan Lyles.

* The Chicago Cubs hired 2002 AL Rookie of the Year Eric Hinske as their first-base coach. The 36-year-old Hinske played 12 seasons in the majors.


* Quarterback Marcus Mariota has announced that he will return to Oregon for his junior season. There had been speculation that Mariota might declare himself eligible for the NFL. Following Oregon's 36-35 victory over Oregon State last Friday, he said he hadn't yet made a decision. Mariota has thrown 30 touchdowns this season for the Ducks, who finished the regular season 10-2.

* A woman charged with shooting and killing a fellow Alabama football fan moments after a loss to Auburn has been released from jail. Shelby County jail records show 28-year-old Adrian Laroze Briskey, of Birmingham, is out on $75,000 bond. Briskey is charged with murder in the killing of 36-year-old Michelle Shepherd, who was shot after Alabama lost on a dramatic, last-second play. Shepherd's sister, Neketa Shepherd, says Briskey was mad that Shepherd was joking after the loss and didn't seem to be enough of a Crimson Tide fan.

* Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin was hired as the head coach at Miami of Ohio.

* Robert Morris University, in suburban Pittsburgh. is cutting seven Division I athletic programs to bolster funding for the remaining sports. Men's indoor and outdoor track, tennis and cross country and women's golf, tennis and field hockey will be phased out following the 2013-14 academic year. The move will impact 80 student-athletes. Robert Morris will honor the scholarships of those athletes and assist those who seek to transfer.

Sport Stops

Lindsey Vonn was cleared to get back on a World Cup course for downhill training, the latest step as she works to return from a right knee injury and get ready for the Sochi Olympics.

* Forward Jozy Altidore has earned his first U.S. national team player of the year award.

* FIFA said it won't switch early World Cup kickoff times in tropical cities despite concern by the international players' union.

Tony Stewart said ExxonMobil has renewed its multiyear sponsorship of both the three-time NASCAR champion and Stewart-Haas Racing.