Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish was traded to the San Diego Padres Wednesday. The Padres got Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and cash from the Cubs for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press


San Diego Padres GM A.J. Preller reunited with an old friend in another blockbuster move late Tuesday night.

The aggressive Padres got Yu Darvish in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, adding another ace to their rotation after announcing a deal for Blake Snell earlier in the day. During his time in Texas’ front office, Preller scouted Darvish before the Rangers acquired the Japanese right-hander in 2012.

“His last season and a half has been as productive as anybody in the game. He’s a force,” Preller said. “So I think getting back on the phone with him, catching up for a few minutes, really looking forward to being around him every single day again.”

The Padres got Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and $3 million from the Cubs for right-hander Zach Davies and four young minor leaguers. The switch-hitting Caratini caught Darvish in Chicago and batted .241 with 16 RBI last season.

The 34-year-old Darvish was 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts for Chicago during the pandemic-shortened season, finishing second in the NL Cy Young Award race. He has three years and $59 million left on the $126 million, six-year deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2018 season.

Chicago will send San Diego payments of $500,000 on the first day of each month from April through September in 2021, offsetting a portion of Darvish’s $22 million salary. He is owed $19 million in 2022 and $18 million in 2023.

• The Chicago White Sox and outfielder Adam Engel agreed to a $1.375 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.


MEN’S WORLD CUP DOWNHILL: Matthias Mayer ended Austria’s wait for its first victory of the Alpine skiing World Cup season by winning the classic downhill at Bormio, Italy, in the last event of 2020.

Mayer edged teammate Vincent Kriechmayr by four-hundredths of a second for an Austrian 1-2 finish.

Austria had failed to win any of this season’s previous 12 men’s and 10 women’s World Cup races.

Switzerland’s Urs Kryenbuehl was 0.06 behind in third as he claimed a third career podium result.


PREMIER LEAGUE: The Premier League made it clear it doesn’t intend to suspend the competition despite being forced to call off a second game this week amid concerns across England about a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.

Fulham’s game at Tottenham had to be postponed on Wednesday, while the government’s tightening of coronavirus restrictions meant no Premier League stadiums will be allowed to have fans going forward.

But the league is resisting calls, including those from West Bromwich Albion Manager Sam Allardyce, to suspend the competition for a second time during the pandemic. It was halted for 100 days from March to June last season during the first infection wave.

BRAZIL: Representatives for soccer superstar Neymar are trying to distance him from claims he has flouted pandemic warnings with a huge, multiday New Year’s bash at or near his home in Brazil while on break from his French club team.

Day Crespo, the main spokesperson for Neymar, said in an message that the Paris Saint-Germain forward isn’t even at the exclusive neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro state where the party is taking place.

“Neymar Jr. will not throw any party this year, we are in a full blown pandemic and he is with his friends and family members,” she said. Earlier Neymar published on his social media channels a picture of himself and a friend on a boat in a Southern Brazil beach, Praia do Caixa D’Aco.


FINE: American tennis player Sam Querrey was handed a suspended $20,000 fine by the ATP tour for breaching coronavirus protocols at the St. Petersburg Open in October.

Querrey left Russia on a private plane after testing positive for COVID-19, despite having been placed in isolation by local authorities. The ATP said its investigation into the incident concluded that Querrey’s conduct was “contrary to the integrity of the game.”

However, the fine will be lifted if the 33-year-old Querrey does not commit any further violations of health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 during a six-month probationary period.

The ATP said it took Querrey’s “many years of otherwise good standing with the ATP and other mitigating factors” into consideration when deciding on a suspended fine.


NHL: The Arizona Coyotes signed veteran forward Derick Brassard to a one-year contract.

Brassard, 33, had 10 goals and 22 assists in 66 games with the New York Islanders in 2019-20.


RETIRED: Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law has been suddenly retired on the advice of a veterinarian after an X-ray revealed bone bruising in the colt’s front leg.

Jack Knowlton of Sackatoga Stable tweeted: “We are beyond grateful for the time we had with him.” The New York state ownership group had been expecting to race the colt as a 4-year-old next year.

But a series of X-rays revealed “severe” bone bruising to the bottom of the front leg bone. “When that happens, you can’t continue to train and race a horse without significant threat of a catastrophic breakdown,” the stable tweeted.

Tiz the Law had six wins in nine career starts and earnings of $2,735,300, according to Equibase. He retired on the same day his trainer, Barclay Tagg, turned 83. Tiz the Law was ridden by Manny Franco.

Tiz the Law finished sixth in what turned out to be his final start in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in November. He finished second behind Authentic in the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5.

He won the Belmont Stakes, which kicked off this year’s out-of-order Triple Crown series, on June 20. Tiz the Law skipped the Preakness on Oct. 3. His other wins this year came in the Florida Derby and Holy Bull, both at Gulfstream in Florida.

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