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    Yankees ship Headley, Mitchell to Padres

    New York Yankees' Chase Headley warms up during batting practice for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros baseball game Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    David J. Phillip/AP
    Switch-hitter Chase Headley returns to his original team following a trade between the Yankees and Padres on Tuesday.

    ’Tis the season for podcasts: “Season Ticket”

    The Yankees traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell and $500,000 to the Padres on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., giving New York payroll flexibility and room for its infield prospects. New York received reserve outfielder Jabari Blash. A day after finalizing their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton from Miami, the Yankees cut their payroll to $167 million for luxury tax purposes. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner is intent on getting under the $197 million tax threshold in 2018, and New York still may attempt to re-sign lefthander CC Sabathia or add another starting pitcher. Headley, 34, returning to the team that selected him in the second round of the 2005 amateur draft, has a $13 million salary next season, which completes a $52 million, four-year deal . . . Brandon Morrow agreed to a two-year contract with the Cubs, taking one of the top relievers off the market. Morrow went 6-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 45 appearances for the NL champion Dodgers last season. The Cubs also agreed to a $10 million, two-year deal with lefthander Drew Smyly, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery in June and might not be able to return next season . . . Mariners righthander Hisashi Iwakuma could be back as soon as May after surgery on his shoulder in September . . . MLB umpire Dale Scott, 58, has announced his retirement. The veteran crew chief missed nearly the entire 2017 season after a foul ball off the bat of Baltimore slugger Mark Trumbo in Toronto on April 14 caught him hard in the mask, causing Scott’s second concussion in nine months and fourth in five years. 

    Orioles third base prospect Steve Wilkerson was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for amphetamine, a banned stimulant, under baseball’s minor league program.

     Sheldon Ocker, 75, who covered the Cleveland Indians from 1981-2013 for the Akron Beacon Journal in Ohio, has won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. Ocker will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s induction weekend July 27-30.


    Russia set to send more than 200


    Despite Russia’s ban from the upcoming Olympics, officials in the country expect more than 200 of their athletes to compete at the PyeongChang Games. Under International Olympic Committee sanctions announced last week, all Russians must compete under the Olympic flag as ‘‘Olympic Athletes from Russia.’’ The decision to ban Russia came after the country was found to have run a sophisticated doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games. On Tuesday, the IOC disqualified the Russian women’s hockey team because six players were implicated in doping offenses. That brings the total of Russians banned from Sochi to 31, making Russia the first country with more than 100 Olympic disqualifications.


    Ball brothers will play in Lithuania

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    Prienai-Birstonas Vytautaso of the Lithuanian league signed LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball to pro contracts, making LaVar Ball’s two younger sons ineligible for college basketball. The move comes after LiAngelo left UCLA, where he was suspended after being arrested for shoplifting during the team’s season-opening trip to China. LaVar Ball pulled 16-year-old LaMelo out of Chino Hills High recently. His oldest son, Lonzo, is a rookie with the Lakers . . . Pelicans guard Tony Allen was diagnosed with a fibula fracture in his left leg. The 14-year veteran and former Celtic is expected to miss 3-4 weeks . . . Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller underwent arthroscopic surgery on his torn medial meniscus in his left knee and is out indefnitely.


    Wisconsin’s Cichy to enter NFL Draft

    Wisconsin linebacker Jack Cichy has decided to enter the NFL Draft, foregoing a chance to ask the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility because of a right knee injury. Arguably Wisconsin’s best player, Cichy was on preseason watch lists for postseason awards when he got hurt during a special teams drill in training camp. Wisconsin faces Miami in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30 . . . Defending national champion and top-ranked James Madison placed three players on the Associated Press FCS All-America first team (offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie, defensive lineman Andrew Ankrah, and defensive back Jordan Brown). The Dukes play South Dakota State in the FCS semifinals on Saturday. Yale running back Zane Dudek and linebacker Matthew Oplinger, and New Hampshire receiver Neil O'Connor were named to the second team, Bryant linebacker Thomas Costigan to the third team.


    Former NHL player Zalapski, 49, dies

    Former NHL defenseman Zarley Zalapski has died at age 49, according to the Calgary Flames. No cause of death was given. Zalapski, a native of Edmonton, played 637 NHL games for Calgary, Pittsburgh, Hartford, Montreal, and Philadelphia from 1987 to 2000. Zalapski was named to the all-rookie team in 1989 and was an All-Star in 1993 . . . Seattle goalkeeper Tyler Miller was Los Angeles FC’s first pick in the MLS expansion draft. LAFC also chose Sporting Kansas City forward Latif Blessing, San Jose forward Marco Urena, Columbus left back Jukka Raitala, and Toronto defender Raheem Edwards . . . USA Gymnastics has banned an Illinois coach after an investigation revealed he violated its code of ethical conduct by engaging in a sexual relationship with an athlete. The organization says Todd Gardiner has been placed on its list of coaches permanently ineligible to coach in USA Gymnastics. Gardiner had worked with the Illinois Gymnastics Institute in Westmont. He is not charged with any crimes, and USA Gymnastics released no details about when the alleged relationship occurred . . . Bruce Brown, 80, whose 1966 surfing documentary ‘‘The Endless Summer’’ molded the image of the surfer as a seeker and transformed the sport, died of natural causes in Santa Barbara, Calif. . . . Olympian Oscar Pistorius, serving a 13-year prison sentence for murdering his girlfriend, was bruised in an altercation with another inmate over telephone use last week, a South African prison spokesman confirmed. Pistorius a double amputee runner who won worldwide acclaim winning in the Paralympics and competing in the Olympics, sustained a minor injury in the alleged assault at the Attridgevill Correctional Centre.