ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Braves have found a replacement for free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn. A person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press that free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton has agreed to a five-year package with the Braves after hitting .246 with 28 homers, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases for Tampa Bay this year. Several media outlets reported the deal is worth $75.25 million, which would be the largest free-agent contract in team history.
UNDATED (AP) – In a month-long election sure to become a referendum on the Steroids Era, the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released Wednesday with the names Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa on it. More than 600 longtime members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will decide if the three players belong in Cooperstown despite drug allegations that tainted their huge numbers. Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling also are among the 24 first-time eligible, while Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdover candidates.
UNDATED (AP) – Presidents and chancellors of the Atlantic Coast Conference have unanimously voted to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland, which announced last week it would join the Big Ten in 2014. ACC Commissioner John Swofford says the addition of Louisville along with Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse in the past 15 months has made the league stronger.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) – Ndamukong Suh (ehn-DAHM’-uh-kehn soo) dodged a suspension for what he says was an inadvertent kick to the groin of Houston quarterback Matt Schaub during a Thanksgiving Day loss to Texas, but the Lions defensive tackle has drawn a $30,000 fine for his action. Speaking to reporters for the first time since the incident, Suh insisted he has no reason to apologize to Schaub.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Former NFL coach Jon Gruden denies a report that he has received an offer to take over the University of Tennessee football program as part of a deal that would include becoming part owner of the Cleveland Browns. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is a brother of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Gruden tells ESPN’s “Mike & Mike In The Morning” show that he’s happy working as an NFL analyst for the network and is just trying to keep his job.