Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was rescued by Venezuelan police Friday night, two days after he was kidnapped, officials announced.
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami said on state television that Ramos was "safe and sound" and that he was rescued by police. Information Minister Andres Izarra initially announced the news on Twitter, saying: "The baseball player Ramos found alive by security forces in mountainous zone."
Armed men seized Ramos at gunpoint Wednesday night outside his home in a working-class neighborhood in Valencia. The abduction was the first known kidnapping of a major leaguer in Venezuela, which has dozens of players on big-league rosters in the U.S., and it brought focus on the country's worsening violent crime.
Phillies get Papelbon • Jonathan Papelbon and the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a four-year contract woth $50 million, the largest ever for a reliever. The deal is subject to Papelbon passing a physical, according to a source.
Papelbon, a righthander, had 219 saves over seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, including 31 this year, when he made $12 million. A four-time All-Star, Papelbon helped the Red Sox win the 2007 World Series title. Papelbon has a 23-19 record and a 2.33 ERA in 396 career appearances.
Red Sox talk to Lovullo • Boston interviewed Torey Lovullo for its vacant manager's post, the fourth person to interview for the job that opened when the team parted ways with Terry Francona. Milwaukee hitting coach Dale Sveum, Philadelphia bench coach Pete Mackanin and Cleveland coach Sandy Alomar Jr. already have been interviewed; former Pittsburgh and Chicago White Sox manager Gene Lamont is scheduled for today.
An infielder, Lovullo played 303 games in the majors over eight seasons with seven teams. He has managed in the minor leagues, including the Red Sox's Class AAA affiliate in Pawtucket, R.I.
Alomar interviews with Cubs • Meanwhile, Alomar became the fourth candidate to interview for the Chicago Cubs' managerial vacancy, joining Mackanin, Sveum and Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux as possible replacements for the fired Mike Quade.
One person who didn't interview but would seem to be a top candidate is Francona, who led Boston to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. Francona has interviewed for the Cardinals' post.
Astros sale • The proposed sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane is on the agenda for approval when baseball owners meet next week in Milwaukee. Crane and Major League Baseball also have reached an understanding on how a possible shift of the franchise to the American League in 2013 would take place. Last May, McLane and Crane announced a sale valued at $680 million.
Hamilton has surgery • Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton had surgery to repair a sports hernia. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia.
Lea dies • Charlie Lea, who was the first French-born pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the major leagues, has died. He was 54. Lea had worked as a radio commentator for the Class AAA Memphis Redbirds since 2002.