The Cardinals presented a contract to pitcher John Gant ahead of Monday evening’s non-tender deadline, a date every winter that spurs some trades and lets loose a trickle of new free agents into the marketplace. Gant, 27, is the only player the Cardinals have on the roster who is eligible for arbitration, and if the two sides cannot agree on a salary for 2020 ahead of January’s formal exchange of salary figures an arbiter will pick.
The Cardinals also formally presented contracts to all of the players on the 40-man roster with less than three years of service time, including pitchers Jordan Hicks and Jack Flaherty, center fielder Harrison Bader, and prospects Andrew Knizner, Randy Arozarena, and Lane Thomas. Their salaries for 2020 will be set in spring training, but after Monday all of them have contracts for 2020.
The Cardinals pruned their roster ahead of the non-tender deadline by passing reliever Dominic Leone through waivers and setting him free before Monday.
Gant went 11-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 64 appearances, all in relief, in 2019. (Derrick Goold)
Messi, Rapinoe win awards: Lionel Messi won a record sixth Ballon d’Or while World Cup winner Megan Rapinoe earned the women’s prize on Monday.
A day after scoring his 614th career goal for Barcelona, Messi reclaimed the trophy he last won in 2015.
Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was second in the polling, followed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who shared the record of five Ballon d’Ors with Messi until Monday.
Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or for leading the United States to World Cup glory in July. She scored six goals in the championship, earning her the Golden Boot as the top scorer and the Golden Ball as the top player. (AP)
Washington’s Petersen steps down: Washington coach Chris Petersen says he is stepping down after six seasons at the school, with defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake promoted to over the program.
Petersen’s decision was shocking coming off a season where the Huskies went 7-5 in the regular season and are bound for a sixth straight bowl game. The school said Petersen, 55, will transition into a “leadership advisory role” within the athletic department. (AP)
Other college football: Injured South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley says he’s leaving the Gamecocks to play a final college football season elsewhere. Bentley will graduate on Dec. 16, meaning he could play immediately at his new school. ... The Southeastern Conference has fined Auburn $250,000 after fans stormed the field celebrating an Iron Bowl victory. It’s the school’s fourth violation of the league’s policy prohibiting fan access to the field or court. The SEC announced the fine Monday, two days after fans almost completely covered the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium following the 11th-ranked Tigers’ 48-45 win over No. 9 Alabama. (AP)