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B.J. Upton agrees to five-year, $75-million deal with Atlanta Braves

Upton has spent his entire career with the Rays and hit .246 with a personal-best 28 home runs along with 31 stolen bases in 2012.

November 28, 2012|Staff and wire reports

The Atlanta Braves agreed to terms Wednesday with former Tampa Bay Rays center fielder B.J. Upton on a five-year contract worth $75.25 million, the largest free-agent contract in franchise history, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The previous largest contract was pitcher Derek Lowe's four-year, $60-million deal.

Upton's deal was pending a physical and the Braves weren't expected to make an announcement before Thursday. Upton changed the avatar on his Twitter page to a Braves script "A" by early Wednesday night.

Upton, 28, has spent his entire career with the Rays and hit .246 with a personal-best 28 home runs along with 31 stolen bases in 2012. He will provide the Braves with a badly needed right-handed presence in the middle of the lineup.

Upton has increased his home-run totals in each of the last four seasons, and has 51 homers and 159 runs batted in over the last two seasons.

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The Cincinnati Reds signed reliever Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21-million contract. ... Left-hander Andy Pettitte is staying with the New York Yankees after signing a one-year deal worth $12 million. ... The Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Cory Burns from the San Diego Padres in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Etc.

The Dallas Mavericks will sign veteran point guard Derek Fisher on Thursday, Coach Rick Carlisle announced after a 101-78 loss to Chicago.

Dallas played Wednesday without Darren Collison, who had started 14 of the Mavericks' 15 games at the point, because of a sprained right middle finger sustained in a loss Tuesday to Philadelphia. Third-year guard Dominique Jones started for the second straight game at the position.

Fisher won five championships with the Lakers and has played 16 NBA seasons. He played in all 20 of Oklahoma City's playoff games last season.

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The Atlantic Coast Conference announced that its presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland, which will join the Big Ten in 2014.

Louisville was a candidate to join the Big 12 last year before that league took West Virginia, though Maryland's unexpected announcement last week created a new opportunity for both the school and the ACC.

But it wasn't a lock for the Cardinals.

A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week before the vote to add Louisville during a conference call Wednesday morning. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the ACC hasn't released details of the expansion discussions.

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Gambling-related allegations against the University of Tulsa's athletic director have drawn the attention of the NCAA, which has taken a hard stand against wagering it says could undermine the integrity of the sports it governs.

Officials at the private university said they notified the NCAA immediately after learning Tuesday that Director of Athletics Ross Parmley was linked to the criminal gambling case against Teddy Mitchell of Oklahoma City, said University of Tulsa spokeswoman Kayla Acebo.

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The former Penn State president accused of covering up reports of sexual molestation by retired assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky earned $2.5 million in severance last year, the school said. Graham Spanier's total taxable income was $3.3 million in 2011, the university said. That included $700,000 in salary, $83,000 in taxable benefits and the severance money, which will be paid by 2017, the school said.

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Junior guard-forward Anthony Brown will miss the rest of the season for Stanford because of a hip injury. Brown appeared in four games this season, making two starts and averaging 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

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Whether federal mediators will provide enough help to end the NHL lockout in time to save the hockey season is still unknown. At least they had a good first day.

Negotiators from the NHL and the players' association returned to the bargaining table Wednesday for the first time in a week and the first time with outside voices contributing to the talks. The location was secret, and so was what was discussed, but the talks went well enough that the sides will be back at the negotiating table Thursday.

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