Just hours after the Boston Red Sox signed free agent Stephen Drew away from Oakland, the A's filled their gaping infield hole Monday by agreeing to terms with Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, according to two sources.
Nakajima, 30, reportedly agreed to a two-year contract for $13 million with a club option for a third season at $5.5 million.
The A's had met with Nakajima's representatives in early December, even though they had entertained hopes of retaining Drew, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Red Sox for a reported $9.5 million plus incentives.
The A's called a news conference for this afternoon at the Coliseum to announce the signing of Nakajima, although the club would only confirm general manager Billy Beane would be in attendance along with a "special guest."
During the past six seasons with the Saitama Seibu Lions in the Japanese Pacific League, Nakajima has batted .310 with a .381 on-base percentage.
Right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla and the Giants agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract. The deal, which is pending a physical, includes a club/vesting option for the 2016 season. The Giants said Casilla is scheduled to take his physical today.
National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey tweeted his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays, who acquired the 38-year-old knuckleballer and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. The Mets got top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and catcher John Buck, plus minor league right-hander Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.
The Houston Astros signed veteran Carlos Pena to be their designated hitter, addressing a key need as they prepare for their first season in the American League.
San Jose St. names football coach
San Jose State followed the route of its nearest rival when it named Ron Caragher its football coach. He joins the Spartans after a successful six-year run at the University of San Diego, where he replaced Jim Harbaugh after the 49ers' coach left to join Stanford.
Temple introduced Matt Rhule as its coach. Rhule, 37, left his post as assistant offensive-line coach with the Super Bowl-champion New York Giants to take over the Owls. He will replace Steve Addazio, who left earlier this month to be the Boston College coach.
Western Michigan hired Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant P.J. Fleck, 32, making him the youngest coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision, a source said.
The performance of skier Ted Ligety has left some rivals questioning whether his equipment conforms to new rules introduced by the International Ski Federation for this season that limit the hourglass shape of skis. But the federation says no equipment rules have been breached by the American.
The ATP, the governing body of men's tennis, opposes the U.S. Open's switch to a Monday final in 2013 and is not satisfied with the prize money increase for the tournament.
Former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam resigned from all soccer-related positions and was banned for life by the sport's world governing body following "repeated violations" of its code of ethics while head of the Asian Football Confederation.
The Golf Channel will televise the NCAA Division I golf championships starting in 2014.
Oakland Tribune, Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News