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Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees agree to $15 million deal

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Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees agree to $15 million deal

NEW YORK (AP) Trying to get under baseball's luxury tax by 2014, the New York Yankees don't mind spending big as long as it's on one-year deals.

New York filled one of the slots in its rotation Tuesday, agreeing to a $15 million, one-year contract with No. 2 starter Hiroki Kuroda as they await a decision from Andy Pettitte on whether he wants to return in 2013.

``It something that I think fits how we've operated here in the last number of years, to do short-term circumstances on high-end players,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

The Yankees will pay the luxury tax on high payrolls for the 10th straight season this year and will hand over more tax money in 2013. But they say they want to get under 2014's threshold of $189 million, which would enable them to get some of their revenue-sharing dollars back. That's why a one-year deal made sense for Kuroda, a right-hander who turns 38 in February.

He was the Yankees' most consistent pitcher during the regular season. He went 16-11, tying for the team lead in wins, and led New York with 33 starts and 219 2-3 innings.

Cashman called the agreement ``a relief.''

``Hiroki Kuroda chose us on a lesser deal last year and I suspect he's done the same again this year,'' Cashman said. ``By coming here, I suspect that he left money on the table. I suspect it was a very aggressive market on him, and I think it is a reflection of he really enjoyed playing here for this city, for this team, for this organization and with these teammates to come back under the circumstances he's coming back on.''

After losing six of his first nine decisions, Kuroda finished with a 3.32 ERA that was second among New York starters behind Pettitte's 2.87.

``I am very happy and excited to re-sign with the Yankees,'' Kuroda said in a statement. ``I am very grateful for all of the interest and all of the offers that I received from the various teams that courted me. It was a tough decision for me to make, but at the end of the day, I wanted to try to win a championship with the teammates that I went to battle with last season.''

Kuroda joined the Yankees after four seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, was given a $10 million base salary last season and earned $1 million more in performance bonuses based on innings. He turned down a $13.3 million qualifying offer from the Yankees, and he would have cost a new team a selection in June's amateur draft.

He joins CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the Yankees' projected starting rotation for next season, with David Phelps also a possibility.

Pettitte, who came out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees, hasn't decided whether he wants to play next year. Cashman won't say how long he'll wait.

``Of course, obviously, there's an answer to that question but not one I'm prepared to answer,'' he said.

NOTES: Kuroda can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses, $250,000 each for 190 and 210 innings. ... Cashman said SS Derek Jeter is progressing from surgery to repair his broken ankle. ``By opening day he's supposed to be ready and full speed,'' he said. ... Cashman is talking with Mariano Rivera about a new contract and doesn't have any concerns about the closer's recovery from a torn knee ligament. Rivera turns 43 next week. ``Mo's never failed. He's never had a failure in his career,'' Cashman said. ... RHP Michael Pineda, recovering from shoulder surgery, isn't being counted on for the start of the season. He threw on flat ground at Yankee Stadium last week. ``He had zip on it,'' Cashman said.

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After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

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Associated Press

After releasing Martez Carter the Redskins are thin at running back

The Redskins are very thin at running back right now. 

Today at practice the Redskins had three running backs on the field. Rob Kelley and Kapri Bibbs are fully healthy while Chris Thompson is limited as he recovers from a broken leg he suffered last November. 

Injuries have hit the depth at running back. The most recent casualty was Martez Carter, who was waived with an injury designation. 

The move was surprising since Carter had some good runs against the Jets during their preseason game on Thursday and he did not appear to be injured during the game. 

Coach Jay Gruden did not offer any more details as to what the injury to Carter was, only that he is no longer with the team. 

Also sidelined with lower leg injuries are Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall. According to media reports, Perine will be out one week and Marshall for two to four. Gruden would not confirm the timelines, saying only that they are undergoing treatment and the timetable for their returns in unknown. 

The Redskins will bring in some running backs to try out on Sunday. They will need at least one and probably two in order to get through the upcoming preseason game against the Broncos on Friday. 

In other personnel moves, the Redskins waived linebacker Jeff Knox and defensive end Jalen Wilkerson and signed offensive tackle Kendall Calhoun, defensive back Darius Hillary, and wide receiver Allenzae Staggers. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler

 

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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