Yankees make offer to Sabathia

Staff and Wire Reports

New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner confirmed Friday night that an offer was made to free-agent pitcher CC Sabathia, and that proposals will be forthcoming for pitchers A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe.

The Yankees formulated a proposal to Sabathia that would exceed Johan Santana’s $137.5-million, six-year contract with the New York Mets both in total and average, a baseball official familiar with the negotiations said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to divulge details.

Steinbrenner declined to give details about the Sabathia offer.

The Dodgers withdrew their offer to Manny Ramirez on Friday but intend to continue negotiations with the All-Star outfielder.


Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti presented agent Scott Boras with an offer for a two-year deal worth $45 million last week and told him that it would expire on Thursday. The proposed contract included a $22.5-million option for 2011 that the Dodgers could buy out for $7.5 million.

“We’ll see where it goes,” Colletti said. “Every offer has a deadline to it. It doesn’t mean we’re averse to continuing the conversations.”

--Dylan Hernandez


Melrose fired by Lightning

Barry Melrose’s return to the NHL as coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning lasted 16 games. Now the job belongs to assistant Rick Tocchet after Melrose was fired Friday.

The Lightning has lost three straight games, dropping to fourth in the Southeast Division.



Murray rallies to beat Federer

Andy Murray rallied to eliminated Roger Federer from the Masters Cup with a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-5 victory at Shanghai, China.

Murray had already qualified for the semifinals, where he will face Nikolay Davydenko.



Johnson qualifies 30th for Cup finale

Carl Edwards, facing a daunting 141-point deficit to Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, qualified fourth, trailing only first-time pole winner David Reutimann, rookie Scott Speed and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. Johnson, who needs only to finish 36th or better on Sunday to wrap up his third straight Cup title, will start 30th.

A two-tire stop and a late decision to stay on track during a caution period were just enough to give Johnny Benson the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series title by seven points over Ron Hornaday in a race that went to overtime at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Todd Bodine won the Ford 200, and Benson finished seventh, one position ahead of Hornaday.

A federal judge Thursday denied a request by two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves to push back the driver’s trial on federal tax-evasion charges, further clouding Castroneves’ future at Team Penske. U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham in Miami said the March 2 trial date still stands, denying Castroneves’ bid to have it pushed back to next November after the IndyCar Series season.


--Jim Peltz

NASCAR has suspended all testing at its sanctioned tracks next season in a cost-cutting measure that should help teams save several million dollars in their 2009 budgets.


Stanford leads; Ochoa 10 back


Angela Stanford shot a six-under-par 66 in the second round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational to take a two-stroke lead over Yani Tseng at Guadalajara. Ochoa followed her opening 73 with a 71, leaving her 10 strokes back. . . . Senior midfielder McCall Zerboni scored three goals as UCLA (19-0-2) defeated Fresno State, 5-0, in a first-round match in the NCAA women’s soccer playoffs at UCLA. The Bruins (19-0-2) advance to Sunday’s second round against San Diego, which beat Long Beach State, 1-0.

Shani Davis of the United States edged Dutchmen Stefan Groothuis and Mark Tuitkert to win the 1,500-meter speedskating race at a World Cup meet at Heerenveen, Netherlands.. . . . The Tour de Georgia cycling event canceled its 2009 race because of financial struggles.