YANKS, MOLINA AGREE: The New York Yankees finalized their two-year, $4 million deal with catcher Jose Molina on Monday and designated infielder Andy Phillips for assignment.
The 32-year-old Molina was traded from the Los Angeles Angels to the Yankees on July 21 for minor league pitcher Jeff Kennard. He hit a combined .257 with 19 RBIs and threw out 27 percent of would-be basestealers.
Phillips hit .292 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 61 games for the Yankees. Promoted from Triple-A on June 19, he played extensively at first base in place of injured Doug Mientkiewicz.
RAYS TRADE DUKES TO NATS: The Tampa Bay Rays traded another troubled outfielder Monday, sending Elijah Dukes to the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Glenn Gibson.
Due in part to others being injured, Dukes began this season as Tampa Bay's starting center fielder. The rookie batted .190 with 10 homers and 21 RBIs in 52 games.
He was optioned to the minors on June 22 and placed on the temporary inactive list after he was accused of violating a protective court order his estranged wife obtained after she said the 23-year-old Dukes threatened her and the couple's children.
"We have a plan in place for him," Nationals general manager Jim Bowden said. "His book hasn't been written yet. Just the first two chapters. The rest of the book has a chance to be special."
Last week, the Rays traded right fielder Delmon Young to Minnesota in a six-player deal that brought pitcher Matt Garza to Tampa Bay. Young, the No. 1 pick in the 2003 amateur draft and runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year this season, famously flipped his bat into the chest of a Triple-A umpire in 2006 and received a 50-game suspension.
CHISOX ACQUIRE QUENTIN: The Chicago White Sox added depth to their inexperienced outfield Monday, acquiring Carlos Quentin from the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league first baseman Chris Carter.
Once considered a top prospect, Quentin batted .214 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 81 games for the NL West champions this season. He lost his starting job in right field and was demoted to the minors in July, then recalled a few weeks later. But he missed most of August with a strained right hamstring and was left off the playoff roster.
In Chicago, the 25-year-old Quentin could get another chance to earn regular playing time, perhaps in left field. The White Sox cut light-hitting speedster Scott Podsednik last month, and right fielder Jermaine Dye is the only proven slugger in their outfield.
Carter, 20, showed power at Class-A Kannapolis this season, batting .291 with 25 homers and 93 RBIs in 126 games.
N.Y.-CHICAGO EXHIBITIONThe New York Mets will play the Chicago White Sox at Memphis on March 29 in the second civil rights exhibition game. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 this year in the first game.
AUSTRIANS SWEEP SUPER-G: Hannes Reichelt led an Austrian sweep at a World Cup super-G on Monday, his second straight victory in the discipline on the Birds of Prey course at Colorado's Beaver Creek resort.
Austrians captured five of the top six places while the best U.S. skier was Ted Ligety in 23rd place. Bode Miller was 30th.
The first skier out of the start hut, Reichelt charged down the sun-drenched course in 1 minute, 19.87 seconds, edging teammate Mario Scheiber by 0.02 seconds. Christoph Gruber was third, 0.21 off the winning pace.
"When you are starting No. 1, you know you aren't going to get any radio reports from your teammates who went before you warning you about tricky parts," Reichelt said. "So you don't over-think things when you are starting first.
FIGHTER DIES OF INJURIES: A mixed martial arts fighter has died in a Houston hospice about six weeks after he was injured in a sanctioned bout, a rare fatality for a combat sport that is growing in popularity.
Sam Vasquez, 35, of Houston, was injured at the Toyota Center on Oct. 20 and died Friday. The Harris County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Vasquez's death, but spokeswoman Stacey Mitchell said it could be several days before the official cause is determined.
Mixed martial-arts fighting, a free-for-all combination of judo, boxing, karate, Muay Thai, kickboxing, tae kwon do, jiujitsu and wrestling, has grown in popularity and attracted large pay-per-view television audiences.
To broaden its fan base, the sport has limited the violence, attracting new fans without alienating its original hard-core base.
Vasquez was hospitalized after he was knocked out by Vince Libardi of San Antonio in the third round of a fight at the Renegades Extreme Fighting show. He lost consciousness and suffered a seizure.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which sanctioned the fight, said it investigated the incident immediately after the fight. The agency examined the pre-fight requirements, the activity during the bout and the way emergency medical workers responded to Vasquez's injury.
"To date, the evaluation shows that this event was conducted in compliance with all procedures," said a statement issued by executive director Bill Kuntz. "Texas and the Mixed Martial Arts community have lost a true fighter."