The Detroit Tigers sent veteran catcher Ivan Rodriguez to the New York Yankees for hard-throwing reliever Kyle Farnsworth on Wednesday, a trade that filled glaring holes for both contenders.
Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star in the option year of a $50-million deal he signed with the Tigers in February 2004, will step into the hole in the Yankees' lineup created by Jorge Posada's shoulder injury. Posada underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday and is out for the season.
"You have to give up to get," Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said. "You have to do the balancing act."
Tigers President Dave Dombrowski said the team didn't want to trade Rodriguez, but had bigger needs in the bullpen.
"It's going to be very exciting. They are in the race and I'm ready to do my job," Rodriguez said.
The Yankees expect Rodriguez to join the team today when they start a four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Angels.
Sharapova wins but has to withdraw
Third-seeded Maria Sharapova withdrew from the Rogers Open in Montreal after her second-round victory because of a shoulder injury, possibly jeopardizing her participation at the Beijing Olympics.
Sharapova defeated Marta Domachowska, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, in a match that took nearly three hours. She will have an MRI today.
Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic, playing with a swollen thumb, advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win over Petra Kvitova.
Michelle Larcher de Brito, a 15-year-old qualifier, upset 15th-seeded Flavia Pennetta, 6-3, 0-6, 6-3.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal needed only 48 minutes to win his 30th consecutive match. He earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Florent Serra in the second round of the Cincinnati Masters.
Lava Man is retired at 7
Lava Man was retired as thoroughbred racing's richest claiming horse after X-rays revealed changes in the horse's front ankles.
The 7-year-old gelding was claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004 and finished his career with earnings of $5,268,706, and 17 wins in 46 starts.
In 2006, Lava Man became the first horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same year. He won three consecutive Gold Cups, from 2005-07, matching Native Diver's feat.
Steve Kenly of STD Racing Stable, who co-owns Lava Man with Jason Wood, decided to retire Lava Man after the horse underwent exams at a clinic in Los Olivos, Calif. X-rays of the horse's front ankles were significantly different from those taken earlier this year, he said.
Deng, Bulls agree to six-year deal
Restricted free agent forward Luol Deng and the Chicago Bulls have agreed to a six-year contract that could be worth as much as $80 million.
The Bulls e-mailed a news release Wednesday afternoon announcing the "contract signing of Luol Deng." No details on the deal were released.
The deal was reported earlier by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and ESPN.com.
FIFA rules that clubs must release players
FIFA ruled that professional clubs must release players age 23 or younger for the Beijing Olympics, clearing the way for Lionel Messi to play for Argentina despite opposition from FC Barcelona.
Slim Aloulou, a Tunisian judge on FIFA's player status committee, said the release was "mandatory for all clubs."
The decision means that Schalke and Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga must release Rafinha and Diego for Brazil.
Shalrie Joseph headed in an indirect kick by Steve Ralston in the 30th minute, leading the New England Revolution to a 1-0 victory over Atlante F.C. in the semifinals of the SuperLiga series at Foxborough, Mass.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be held April 19, the second event on an 18-race schedule for 2009 unveiled by the IndyCar Series. It will be the 35th running of the race on the seaside streets of Long Beach, but the first for the reunified IndyCar Series.
The 1.99-mile Long Beach course previously hosted the Champ Car World Series (formerly known as CART), which was absorbed this spring into the IndyCar Series. The 2009 schedule opens April 5 with a race on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
-- Jim Peltz
The lawyer for Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon said Moon pleaded guilty to negligent driving, a reduced charge from the drunk-driving count that followed his Dec. 28 arrest in Medina, Wash. Moon received a 90-day jail sentence, with 88 of those days suspended.