The Cardinals committed five years and $75 million to Yadier Molina on Friday, the third-largest package for a catcher in baseball history behind Joe Mauer (eight years, $184 million from Minnesota) and Mike Piazza (seven years, $91 million from the Mets).
The Oakland Athletics and Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes finalized a $36 million, four-year deal. The 26-year-old Cespedes starred for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hitting .458 with two home runs and five RBIs in six games. He defected in 2011.
Bryce Harper, the 19-year-old outfielder who was drafted first overall in 2010, had a single in his first start for the Washington Nationals. . . . The Milwaukee Brewers renewed the contract of closer John Axford, who set a team record with 46 saves last season. The righthander, who is entering his fourth season, made $442,500 in 2011. . . . Mets third baseman David Wright was scratched from the lineup for an intrasquad game because of soreness on his left side.
This bit of Hollywood trivia is courtesy of Newsday's Ken Davidoff, who pointed out that a western released in 1942 named Bad Men of the Hills starred Charles Starrett as a lawman's son named Steve Carlton.
No, he didn't share the real Hall of Famer's nickname. But another character in the movie, Lefty Brant, did.
Contact Don McKee at email@example.com.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.