Swisher, Indians agree to 4-year deal
The Indians’ pitch to bring Nick Swisher ‘‘home’’ worked. Two people familiar with the negotiations said Swisher has agreed to a $56 million, four-year contract with the Indians, who used the free agent outfielder’s deep Ohio connections to convince him to join the club. The Indians are expected to announce Swisher’s signing after Christmas, one of the people said. The Indians will not comment until Swisher completes his physical. ‘‘Wow! What a crazy few weeks,’’ Swisher said on Twitter. ‘‘Hey Cleveland! Are you ready? Because I’m coming home!’’ Swisher’s deal includes a $14 million option for 2017 that could become guaranteed based on plate appearances the previous year. Swisher, 32, a switch-hitter, spent the last four years with the Yankees, hitting .272 last season with 24 homers and 93 RBIs. He will fill an outfield hole for the Indians, who traded Shin-Soo Choo to Cincinnati. Swisher will play right, with recently acquired Drew Stubbs in center and Michael Brantley in left. Swisher, who was born in Columbus and played at Ohio State, visited the Indians last week. The club used his ties with the Buckeyes to convince him to join a team that won just 68 games in 2012. Swisher’s signing is significant for the Indians, who have been in the market for an outfielder throughout the offseason. During the Winter Meetings, they offered Shane Victorino a $44 million, four-year contract before he signed a $39 million, three-year deal with the Red Sox . . . Infielder Gustavo Nunez cleared waivers with the Diamondbacks and was returned to the Tigers, opening a spot for former Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross on the 40-man roster. Ross agreed to a three-year, $26 million contract with Arizona on Saturday. Nunez was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in October after the Pirates selected him from the Tigers in the 2011 Rule 5 draft.
Douglas-Roberts joins the Mavericks
The Mavericks signed guard-forward Chris Douglas-Roberts off their NBA Development League team. Douglas-Roberts, leading the D-League in scoring at 22.5 points per game for the Texas Legends, is filling the roster spot vacated by point guard Derek Fisher, who was waived at his request because he wanted to be with his family after being sidelined by a right knee strain. Douglas-Roberts has also played for the Nets and Bucks, and was with the Lakers in training camp after playing in the Italian League in 2011-12 . . . The Wizards waived center Earl Barron and guard Shaun Livingston . . . Greece’s Fotis Katsikaris will become coach of the Russian men’s team while continuing his current duties coaching the Spanish club Bilbao Berri. Katsikaris, 45, is expected to sign a contract with Russia through the 2016 Olympics when he is approved by the Russian Basketball Federation’s executive board on Monday.
Nadal prepares for return next week
Rafael Nadal does not expect to be back to full fitness and close to his competitive best until the Masters tennis event at Indian Wells, Calif., in March, the Spanish star was quoted as saying in the Spanish daily ABC. The fourth-ranked Nadal returns to action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi next weekend after being sidelined six months with a knee injury. After a shocking defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June, Nadal was diagnosed with a partial tear of the patellar tendon and inflammation in his left knee, and was unable to defend his Olympic title at the London Games. The 11-time Grand Slam singles champion also missed the US Open and the season-ending World Tour championships before returning to the practice court Nov. 20.
Rapids deal Cummings to the Dynamo
The Colorado Rapids traded forward Omar Cummings to the Houston Dynamo for midfielder Nathan Sturgis and allocation money. Cummings, 30, had scored 39 regular-season goals since joining the Rapids in 2007 and had 14 as Colorado won the MLS title in 2010. After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009, Colorado allowed Conor Casey to leave for Philadelphia and acquired Edson Buddle from Los Angeles . . . Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar extended his contract with Schalke of the Bundesliga for two years until June 2015. Huntelaar, 29, was the league’s top scorer last season with 29 goals in 32 games. He also set a club record with 48 goals across all competitions in a season . . . In the Premier League, Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge is close to joining Liverpool. Sturridge joined Chelsea from Manchester City in 2009 on a four-year contract.
British newspaper is suing Armstrong
Lance Armstrong is being sued for more than $1.5 million by a British newspaper over the settlement of a libel action, which followed doping allegations against the cyclist that it published. The Sunday Times paid Armstrong 300,000 pounds (now about $485,000) in 2006 to settle a case after it reprinted claims from a book in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs. The US Anti-Doping Agency concluded this year that Armstrong led a massive doping program on his teams. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life. The Sunday Times is now demanding a return of the settlement payment plus interest, as well as its costs in defending the case . . . All is quiet in labor negotiations between the NHL and the players’ association. ‘‘Nothing today,’’ NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press in an e-mail Sunday night. ‘‘Don’t know whether we will speak before the holiday.’’ . . . Larry Morris, the Chicago Bears star linebacker who was named MVP of the 1963 NFL championship game, died Wednesday in Austell, Ga.. He was 79. Known as the “Brahma Bull” for his bruising play as an All-American at Georgia Tech and as an 11-year pro, Morris was named to the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1960s. His wife, Kay, said the cause of death was complications of dementia.