CHASE HEADLEY is staying with the Yankees, agreeing yesterday to a $52 million, 4-year contract that signals New York is not counting on

Alex Rodriguez

to play third base regularly.

Coming off a seasonlong suspension for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract, Rodriguez is owed $61 million over the final three seasons of his $275 million, 10-year deal. The agreement with Headley is a sign New York plans to shift A-Rod to designated hitter, relegate him to a backup role or perhaps even seek trade offers.

Rodriguez has not played a full season since 2007 because of leg injuries, operations on both hips and the suspension. The three-time AL MVP turns 40 on July 27.

The 30-year-old Headley was fifth in NL MVP voting in 2012 after hitting .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBI for San Diego. He also won the Gold Glove at third base.

Headley slumped to a .250 average, 13 homers and 50 RBI the following year and was batting .229 with seven homers and 32 RBI when the Padres traded him to the Yankees on July 22.

Headley batted .262 with six homers and 17 RBI in 191 at-bats for New York.

In other signings:

* Outfielder Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals came to terms on a $7.5 million, 2-year contract, avoiding a grievance hearing . . . Infielder Jed Lowrie and Houston agreed to a $23 million, 3-year contract.



DaMarcus Beasley,

32, the first American to play in four World Cups, said he is retiring from the U.S. national team after 14 years.

* Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera, Atletico Madrid captain Gabriel "Gabi" Fernandez were named as suspects in a match-fixing probe launched by Spain's state prosecutor.

Sport Stops

* NASCAR driver

Brian Vickers

underwent surgery to repair a hole in his heart for a second time. His recovery will cause him to miss the start of the 2015 season.

* A drug-resistant "super bacteria" that's normally found in hospitals and is notoriously difficult to treat has been discovered in the waters where Rio de Janeiro's Olympic sailing events will be held in 2016, scientists said.