Los Angeles Times
Bellinger, Dodgers agree on $17-million contract
Before Major League Baseball’s lockout began at the start of this month, the Dodgers quietly checked one important item off their winter to-do list.
The team agreed to a one-year, $17-million contract with former MVP Cody Bellinger to avoid arbitration, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The deal was finished before the lockout began on Dec. 2 — all offseason activity has since been halted — but wasn’t revealed publicly until Thursday. ESPN first reported the news.
The $17-million salary represents a $900,000 raise from what the outfielder earned this last season. Bellinger, 26, is entering his third of four arbitration-eligible seasons and is set to become a free agent after the 2023 campaign.
Minnesota Vikings star running back Dalvin Cook and Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter, the NFL Players Assn. president, tested positive for COVID-19. ... Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke was activated off the COVID-19 list . ...
New York Jets backup quarterback Joe Flacco and right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif were placed on the COVID-19 list . ... The Houston Texans put six more players on the COVID-19 list, including four starters: left tackle Tytus Howard, center Justin Britt, defensive tackle Roy Lopez and safety Eric Murray . ... Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL’s chief medical officer says asymptomatic players are not spreading COVID-19 based on his observations during this season.
Karl-Anthony Towns joined the list of Minnesota Timberwolves on the COVID-19 health and safety protocols, along with McKinley Wright . ... Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said that James Harden cleared health and safety protocols, but that the Nets don’t expect any of their players still in the protocols to come out in time for the Christmas Day game at the Lakers, including Kevin Durant . ... Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal missed Thursday’s game because of health and safety protocols. ... The Chicago Bulls used the NBA’s COVID-19-related hardship allowance to sign forward Ersan Ilyasova and guard Mac McClung to 10day contracts . ... The NBA and the Players Assn. are continuing discussions on whether to change the current protocols about returning to play after a positive test — something that typically has taken 10 days or more in most cases.
UCLA leading tackler Qwuantrezz Knight will miss the Holiday Bowl because of COVID-19 protocols, the defensive back announced on social media. Knight, who has 61 tackles with a team-high 7.5 tackles for loss, was not seen on the practice field Wednesday and Thursday as the Bruins prepared to face No. 18 North Carolina State on Dec. 28.
—Thuc Nhi Nguyen
Rutgers will replace Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl against Wake Forest after an NCAA committee decided to adhere to an existing policy for making teams with 5-7 records bowl eligible . ... The Hawaii Bowl scheduled for Friday was canceled after Hawaii withdrew because of COVID-19, season-ending injuries and transfers . ... Texas Tech receiver Erik Ezukanma is entering the NFL draft . ... The Southeastern and Big East conferences updated their policies for basketball game postponements and cancellations so that men’s and women’s teams will be required to play if seven scholarship athletes and one countable coaching staff member are available.
Former Galaxy captain Jonathan dos Santos signed with Club America of Liga MX, the team announced . ... Brazilian soccer great Pelé was released from a Sao Paulo hospital but will continue being treated for a colon tumor.