Former all-star closer Ugueth Urbina was released unexpectedly from a Venezuelan prison after serving more than 51/2 years for attempted murder, ESPN.com reported.
Urbina, 38, received a 14-year sentence in March 2007 after being accused of attacking workers with machetes and pouring gasoline on them at his family's ranch in October 2005.
The prison said that Urbina, who last pitched for the Phillies in 2005, was released Saturday for good behavior.
The Seattle Mariners on Wednesday officially announced their $2.75 million, one-year deal with outfielder Raul Ibanez, returning the veteran to where he began his major-league career in 1996.
Seattle needed to clear a roster spot for the former Phillie. It designated for assignment righthanded pitcher D.J. Mitchell, who was acquired from the New York Yankees in July for Ichiro Suzuki.
Outfielder Matt Diaz, 34, agreed to a minor-league deal with the Yankees, according to the New York Times. Atlanta released Diaz in October.
Boston acquired all-star closer Joel Hanrahan from Pittsburgh in a six-player deal completed Wednesday, receiving infielder Brock Holt. The Red Sox gave up righthanders Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., and first baseman-outfielder Jerry Sands.
Former New York Mets righthander John Maine, 31, signed a minor-league deal with Miami. He last pitched in 2010 before shoulder surgery.
HOCKEY: Two players with local ties - defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and forward Johnny Gaudreau - will try to help the United States open the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament with a win Thursday against Germany in Ufa, Russia.
Gostisbehere, a sophomore at Union College (N.Y.), was a Flyers third-round draft pick in June. Gaudreau, a fourth-round selection by Calgary in 2011, played three years at Gloucester Catholic and stars for Boston College.
Germany opened Wednesday with a 9-3 loss to Canada.
Locked out in the NHL, Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges, 28, invited followers on Twitter to join him at a Montreal rink Wednesday.
Dozens of players, ranging widely in age and skill level, packed the outdoor rink for a chance to skate alongside an NHL player.
HORSE RACING: Linda Toscano, who trained horse of the year award-winner Chapter Seven and became the first female trainer to win the Hambletonian with 3-year-old trotter Market Share, was named trainer of the year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
Toscano, 57, of Freehold, N.J., is the first female trainer to win the award. Her stable set a career high for purses, with $6.71 million, and was home to three divisional champions.
COLLEGES: Joe Krivak, 77, Maryland's football coach from 1987 to '91, died Tuesday night after battling leukemia.
Former Michigan State football defensive standout Reggie Garnett, 38, died Tuesday of complications from diabetes.
Ryan Radcliff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Cody Wilson with 5 minutes, 11 seconds remaining to give Central Michigan (7-6) the lead, and Western Kentucky (7-6) was stopped on fourth down when a field goal would have tied the game in the final minute, giving the Chippewas a 24-21 win in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit.
SOCCER: Manchester United's Wayne Rooney will miss up to three weeks with a knee-ligament strain. The England star missed United's 4-3 win over Newcastle.