Rays ponder tender offers on 9 players
The Rays have to decide by midnight tonight whether to tender contracts to their nine arbitration-eligible players.
Five of the nine — LHP David Price, OF Matt Joyce, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, LHP Jake McGee and C Jose Lobaton — are easy calls. The other four require more thought, especially given the early deadline, and the potential of trades: LHP Wesley Wright, INF/OF Sean Rodriguez, OF Sam Fuld and LHP Cesar Ramos.
Tendered players who don't sign by Jan. 14 file for arbitration. Nontendered players become free agents, which also creates more candidates for the Rays as they seek a first baseman, relievers and bench players.
More baseball: RHP Phil Hughes, 27, and the Twins agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal, the Associated Press reported Sunday. The free agent, who went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA last season for the Yankees, still has to pass a physical before the deal can become official. … Shavings from the beard of Red Sox World Series MVP David Ortiz sold to an unknown bidder on eBay for $10,877.77. The proceeds go to charity. The sum eclipses the $6,000 collected in July for hair from rocker Mick Jagger.
McIlroy wins, halts Scott's bid
Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to beat Adam Scott at the Australian Open in Sydney, winning for the first time in 2013 and denying Scott the Triple Crown of Australian golf.
McIlroy started the last round four shots behind Scott but drew even when he eagled the seventh and birdied the eighth. Scott bogeyed the final hole.
"I wanted to get a win and finally I've been able to get one," McIlroy said. "But more satisfying than that is being able to take one of the best players in the world down the stretch and come out on top."
Scott was attempting to join Robert Allenby (2005) as the only players to win the Australian Open, Australian Masters and Australian PGA titles in the same season.
"Nothing was going my way on the greens," Scott said.
More golf: Charl Schwartzel defended his title at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa, shooting 4-under 68 for a four-shot victory and his first European Tour win in a year.
Vonn eyes Sochi, not surgery
Lindsey Vonn is delaying surgery on her right knee for as long as possible in hopes of skiing at the Sochi Games.
Vonn partially tore one of her reconstructed knee ligaments in a crash two weeks ago. She will try to avoid another operation because that would all but end any chance of defending her Olympic downhill title in February.
"Might as well see how long it holds up. Not a lot of options," she said. "In the end, surgery is going to have to happen."
Vonn will travel to Lake Louise, Alberta, this week for training.
More skiing: Sweden's Jessica Lindell-Vikarby won the World Cup giant slalom in Beaver Creek, Colo., holding off 18-year-old American Mikaela Shiffrin by 0.09 seconds.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer; Times wires