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Sports briefs: Outfielder Cody Ross agrees to deal with Diamondbacks
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Baseball • Outfielder Cody Ross has agreed to a three-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Saturday. Ross, who turns 32 Sunday, adds to the abundance of outfielders on the Arizona roster, leading to speculation a trade may be ahead. He .267 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs last season with the Boston Red Sox. He's a career .267 hitter in nine big league seasons.

The addition gives the Diamondbacks four veteran outfielders — Ross, Justin Upton, Gerardo Parra and Jason Kubel — along with two youngsters the organization has deemed ready for the majors, Adam Eaton and A.J. Pollock.

Ross, who throws left-handed and bats right-handed, was a fourth-round draft pick of Detroit out of Carlsbad (N.M.) High School in 1999. He had brief major league stints with the Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati before becoming a full-time big leaguer with the Florida Marlins. Ross was claimed by San Francisco off waivers in August 2010 and was MVP of that year's NL championship series, when he hit .350 with three home runs in five RBIs against Philadelphia. He also homered against Texas in the World Series.

• Raul Ibanez and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract. Ibanez, 40, returns to the team he began his big league career with from 1996-00, then rejoined from 2004-08. He spent the past season with the New York Yankees and became popular with fans for his late-game home runs. He had hoped to remain with New York, but the Yankees have moved slowly during the offseason.

• The Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates are close to completing a trade that would send All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan to Boston for a handful of prospects. Pittsburgh would ship Hanrahan and another player to the Red Sox in exchange for four players, including outfielder-first baseman Jerry Sands and minor league pitcher Stolmy Pimentel.

• Adam Greenberg is getting a chance to resume his baseball career with the Baltimore Orioles. The 31-year-old returned to the major leagues for one at-bat with Florida in October, more than seven years after he was beaned in his debut. He agreed to a minor league contract with the Orioles and will have a chance to earn a job at their Triple-A farm team in Norfolk, Va.

Selected by the Chicago Cubs in the ninth round of the 2002 amateur draft, Greenberg made his big league debut as a pinch hitter on July 9, 2005, and was hit on the back of his head with the first pitch from the Marlins' Valerio de los Santos.

Messi's final 2012 tally: 91 goals

soccer • Lionel Messi polished off his record year with his 91st and final goal of 2012 in Barcelona's 3-1 win at Valladolid on Saturday night, while Jose Mourinho's decision to bench goalkeeper Iker Casillas backfired as Real Madrid lost 3-2 at Malaga and fell 16 points off the pace in the Spanish league.

Expected to win his fourth FIFA Player of the Year award next month, Messi finished 2012 with 79 goals for Barcelona and 12 for Argentina. On Dec. 9, Messi broke Gerd Mueller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals for Bayern Munich and Germany.

Adamek wins by split decision

Boxing • Tomasz Adamek outpointed Steve Cunningham in a split decision Saturday in their IBF heavyweight title eliminator at the Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa. Adamek (48-2) received winning scores of 115-112 from judge Debra Barnes and 116-112 from Dave Greer, while Tom Miller scored it 115-113 for Cunningham (25-5).

From wire reports

NEW YORK •

• Raul Ibanez and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract. Ibanez, 40, returns to the team he began his big league career with from 1996-00, then rejoined from 2004-08. He spent the past season with the New York Yankees and became popular with fans for his late-game home runs. He had hoped to remain with New York, but the Yankees have moved slowly during the offseason.

Ibanez hit .240 with 19 homers and 62 RBIs in 384 at-bats, his pull swing making him a natural for the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. He batted just .197 with five RBIs in 61 at-bats against left-handers.

Including the playoffs, Ibanez hit five home runs that tied the score for the Yankees and eight that put New York ahead, according to STATS. He homered twice after entering as a pinch hitter on Sept. 22 in a 10-9, 14-inning win over Oakland. And with New York fighting for the AL East title, he delivered a tying, pinch-hit homer against Boston in the ninth on Oct. 2 and then singled in the winning run in the 12th.

Then in Game 3 of the division series against Baltimore, he became the first player in major league history to homer twice in a postseason game he didn't start. He pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning and hit a tying home run, then hit a winning shot in the 12th.

Three days later his two-run homer in a four-run ninth inning tied the AL championship series opener against Detroit, a game the Yankees lost 6-4 in 12 innings as the Tigers started their way to a four-game sweep.

Ibanez had a $1.1 million base salary last season and earned another $2.05 million in performance bonuses.

He joins a Seattle team that added power-hitting Kendrys Morales earlier in the week in a trade that sent left-hander Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels. Former Yankees prospect Jesus Montero started 77 games at designated hitter last season for the Mariners and 55 behind the plate, so Ibanez's acquisition by the Mariners could make catcher John Jaso expendable. Jaso made 39 starts behind the plate and 44 at DH.

In 17 major league seasons that also included time with Kansas City (2001-03) and Philadelphia (2009-11), Ibanez has a .278 career average with 271 home runs and 1,116 RBIs.

With Ichiro Suzuki likely to see most of his time in a corner outfield spot because New York hasn't attempted to re-sign Nick Swisher, Ibanez's departure leaves the Yankees searching for a left-handed bat for a part-time designated hitter role. New York's priority before filling that spot appears to be a right-handed bat because Andruw Jones left for Rakuten in Japan after a subpar season and all three starting outfielders — Suzuki, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner — are left-handed hitters.

Ibanez's deal was negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson.

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