Chicago Sun-Times (Sunday)
Phils strike 2-year deal to keep SS Gregorius
Multiple outlets reported Saturday that the Phillies and shortstop Didi Gregorius agreed to terms on a two-year, $28 million contract, pending the results of a physical.
Gregorius, who will turn 31 next month, batted .284 with 10 home runs, 40 RBI and an .827 OPS in his first season with the Phillies. He played in all 60 games of the coronavirus-shortened season.
The deal with Gregorius came a day after the Phillies finalized a five-year, $115.5 million contract to bring back catcher J.T. Realmuto. Together, the moves are an indication the Phillies — who finished 28-32 last season and haven’t reached the playoffs since 2011 — aren’t ready to go into rebuilding mode.
In other Phillies news, the team traded left-hander Cole Irvin to the Athletics for cash. Irvin, 27, was a combined 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 19 appearances (three starts) with the Phillies in the last two seasons.
†The Mets signed left-hander Aaron Loup to a one-year, $3 million contract with incentives for appearances that could add $250,000 to that total.
Loup, 33, was 3-2 with a 2.52 ERA in 24 appearances for the American League champion Rays last season. Once considered a lefty specialist, he held right-handed batters to a .192 average in 58 plate appearances and left-handed batters to a .212 average in 38 plate appearances in 2020.
Ortiz, Reed tied for lead in San Diego
Carlos Ortiz shot a 6-under-par 66 and Patrick Reed a 2-under 70 to share the lead after the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. Both players completed 54 holes at 10-under 206.
Reed’s score, however, didn’t come without controversy. He escaped a penalty for picking up his ball from the rough on the 10th hole to see whether it was embedded. TV replays, however, showed the ball had bounced into the rough rather than landing there on a fly, which would have made picking it up a penalty.
Butler returns, reaches 10,000 points
Jimmy Butler returned from a 10-game absence while in the COVID-19 protocol and scored 30 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 42 seconds left, to carry the Heat past the visiting Kings 105-104. The 30-point effort pushed him past 10,000 points in his career.
Daytona 500 expecting 30,000 fans
Daytona International Speedway president Chip Wile said he expects around 30,000 fans to attend the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. That would make it the largest U.S. sporting event since the pandemic began.