Sports briefs 1-17-14: Price gets $14M deal ahead of arbitration exchange

RONALD BLUM AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay left-hander David Price got a big deal Thursday, a $14 million, one-year contract. That will be just a small fraction of the mega-contract Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are likely to finalize Friday on one of the busiest days of baseball's offseason calendar.

Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, agreed to the biggest single-season salary in Rays history. The three-time All-Star, eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, hopes he remains with the budget-minded franchise.

If he's traded, Price believes it wouldn't be before Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka decides where to sign. Teams have until Jan. 24 to reach an agreement with Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander who was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year for the Japan Series champion Rakuten Golden Eagles.

New Oakland closer Jim Johnson, acquired from Baltimore last month, agreed to a $10 million, one-year deal with the Athletics, who also struck a $2.3 million deal with catcher John Jaso. Johnson's 50 saves tied for the big league lead last year, when he was 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA.

Others who agreed Thursday included Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick ($7,675,000), Mets first baseman Ike Davis ($3.5 million), Colorado right-hander Wilton Lopez ($2.2 million), Cincinnati outfielder Chris Heisey ($1.76 million), Kansas City left-hander Tim Collins ($1,362,500) and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli ($700,000).

• Football

Incriminating photo?: Browns wide receiver Davone Bess has posted a potentially incriminating photograph on his Twitter account that could jeopardize his future with the team -- and possibly lead to NFL discipline.

Bess, who capped a disappointing first season with Cleveland by missing the final two games for personal reasons, posted a photo on Thursday morning on his Twitter page of a small package containing what appears to be marijuana.

Rex Ryan extension: The New York Jets have signed coach Rex Ryan to a contract extension, removing the lame duck label and keeping him with the franchise for at least the next two years.

Ryan was rewarded Thursday with the extension, removing the specter of him heading into next season without a contract beyond 2014. Ryan is 42-38 in the regular season over five years.

Promote Guenther: Different coordinators, same systems, same head coach. The Bengals will be slightly different next season as they try to end one of the NFL's longest runs of playoff misery.

The Bengals promoted linebackers coach Paul Guenther to defensive coordinator on Thursday, keeping continuity for a unit that finished No. 3 in the NFL last season. The move came one day after the Minnesota Vikings hired Mike Zimmer as their head coach.

• Elsewhere

Serena advances: Serena Williams got on and off court as quickly as she could in the scorching heat Friday, registering yet another record with match win No. 61 at the Australian Open as she advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Daniela Hantuchova.

On the men's side, third-seeded David Ferrer advanced to the fourth round for a 10th consecutive Grand Slam when he beat No. 29 Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-2. The French Open finalists will next play Florian Mayer, who beat No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

Wings lose 1-0: Mats Zuccarello broke up a scoreless duel between two Olympic goalies when he scored with 5:58 remaining, lifting the New York Rangers to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night.

Zuccarello floated a puck over Detroit's Jimmy Howard when he drove to the net, putting New York's 45th shot of the night into the net. That was enough for Henrik Lundqvist to earn his third shutout of the season and 48th in his NHL career.

Rule in works: Major League Baseball owners and the players' union remain at work on drafting a rule that would ban home-plate collisions.

MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred said Thursday that owners "fully expect" to have a rule in place, hopefully this season, but that talks are ongoing.

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