Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino had successful surgery on his right thumb Monday, and the team expects him to be ready for spring training. The operation, performed by Dr. Thomas Graham in Cleveland, was to release a nerve. Victorino exited a late September game after jamming his thumb and missed the next two contests. He hit .294 with 15 home runs in his first season with Boston . . . Free agent John Axford, who had 46 saves for Milwaukee in 2011 but has struggled the past two seasons, agreed to terms on a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Indians, pending a physical. Cleveland also signed righthander Shaun Marcum to a minor league deal. Marcum, 32, has a 58-46 career record but pitched in just 14 games last season with the Mets before having shoulder surgery . . . The Twins agreed with righthander Mike Pelfrey on an $11 million, two-year contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal. Pelfrey, 29, made $4.1 million last season in a one-year deal with the Twins, his first season back from Tommy John surgery. He was 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 152⅔ innings . . . The Braves agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal with righthander Gavin Floyd. Floyd, 30, is recovering from surgery to repair the UCL and a torn flexor muscle in his elbow, which ended a short season with the White Sox. He passed a physical in Atlanta. The Braves also avoided arbitration with pitcher Brandon Beachy, agreeing to a $1.45 million, one-year deal.
MLB, Japan set new posting system
MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball finalized a new posting system that caps the fee for Japanese players at $20 million, a deal that may lead to star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka going on the market. Under the rules of the three-year agreement, a Japanese club may make players available between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1 and may set a price of up to $20 million. For 30 days after a player is posted, any big league team willing to pay the fee may attempt to sign him. A team pays the posting fee only if it signs the player. A player who is not signed may not be posted again until the following Nov. 1 . . . The Diamondbacks acquired righthanded closer Addison Reed from the White Sox in exchange for third base prospect Matt Davidson. Reed had 40 saves last season with a 3.79 ERA, walking 23 and striking out 72. Davidson, 22, made his big league debut last season, appearing in 31 games with Arizona. In 115 games with Triple A Reno last year, Davidson hit .280 with 32 doubles, 17 homers, and 74 RBIs . . . Tampa Bay infielder Tim Beckham is expected to miss at least a portion of the season after tearing his right ACL. The No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft was injured during an offseason workout.
Arizona still top team in men’s hoops
Arizona remained the runaway No. 1 in the AP men’s basketball poll after winning a close game at Michigan on Saturday. The Wildcats received all but two first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Syracuse got the other two first-place votes and remained No. 2. UConn, which announced freshman transfer guard Rodney Purvis plans to have surgery to fix a torn labrum in his left shoulder, dropped one spot to No. 10. UMass remained at No. 22. In the AP women’s poll, UConn is the unanimous No. 1, with a showdown at No. 2 Duke looming Tuesday . . . Freshman Jabari Parker scored 21 points to help No. 8 Duke beat Gardner-Webb, 85-66, for the Blue Devils’ 108th straight home nonconference victory . . . Billy Baron had a season-high 31 points with nine rebounds to propel Canisius past host Holy Cross, 83-73 . . . Stanford coach David Shaw said the mention of his name for NFL jobs is ‘‘very flattering,’’ but he doesn’t plan on following the path predecessor and current San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh took . . . The Football Writers Association of America announced that Auburn’s Gus Malzahn won the Eddie Robinson Award, awarded to the best coach in college football. Auburn will play Florida State for the national title . . . Vanderbilt quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels will not play in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Houston after having surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee . . . Arkansas assistant coach and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was hired as head coach at Florida Atlantic. Carl Pelini resigned as coach Oct. 30 after FAU said he and former defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis acknowledged using illegal drugs. The school withdrew Pelini’s resignation and fired him . . . Glendale, Ariz., will host the College Football Playoff championship game in 2016 and Tampa will be the site of the 2017 national title game.
Klitschko leaves boxing for politics
Vitali Klitschko is leaving boxing to concentrate on Ukrainian politics. Klitschko vacated his World Boxing Council world heavyweight title and said he doesn’t expect to fight again as he pursues a presidential bid in his home country. The WBC proclaimed Klitschko a ‘‘Champion Emeritus,’’ a move that allows him to challenge the champion directly should he resume his career. The 42-year-old has a 45-2 record, with 41 KOs. He has not fought since September 2012 . . . The Montreal Canadiens’ George Parros sustained a fighting-related concussion for the second time this season, stunned by punches in a scrap with the Islanders’ Eric Boulton Saturday . . . Edmonton Oilers defenseman Corey Potter was suspended two games by the NHL for boarding Anaheim forward Nick Bonino Sunday.