Markakis, Orioles finalize 6-year extension


Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis passed his physical yesterday and finalized his six-year, $66.1 million extension with the club. The Orioles will have a news conference today at noon to announce the deal, which will keep one of the organization's building blocks with the club through at least the 2014 season. The deal includes a $17.5 million mutual option for the 2015 season with a $2 million buyout, a limited no-trade clause in which Markakis can block a deal to eight teams each year, standard incentive clauses, escalating clauses that can be worth as much as $7.5 million, and a $2.1 million signing bonus to be paid over the next two seasons. He'll make a base salary of $3 million this year, $6.75 million in 2010, $10.254 million in 2011, $12 million in 2012 and $15 million each in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. In terms of guaranteed money, it is the second-richest contract the Orioles have given out, behind only the only the six-year, $72 million pact given to shortstop Miguel Tejada in December 2003. Last season, Markakis, 25, set career highs in batting average (.306), runs (106), doubles (48), walks (99), on-base (.406) and slugging percentage (.491). JEFF ZREBIEC

Kent: : Jeff Kent plans to announce his retirement today at Dodger Stadium. Kent spent 17 years in the majors and leaves as the career home run leader among second basemen with 351. The 2000 National League Most Valuable Player, Kent had a .290 career batting average, 377 homers, 1,518 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage. He was drafted by Toronto in 1989 and also played for the Dodgers, Mets, Cleveland, San Francisco and Houston.

Et cetera: : The Nationals lowered individual-sale ticket prices on 14,000 seats for 2009 after ranking near the bottom of the National League in attendance during their new ballpark's debut season. ... Shortstop Omar Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove winner, agreed to a minor league deal with the Rangers that includes an invitation to spring training. ... Outfielder and former Orioles prospect Jayson Werth and the Phillies reached a preliminary agreement on a two-year, $10 million contract, a person familiar with the agreement told the Associated Press.

Jamison, Butler lead Wizards past Kings


Antawn Jamison had 33 points and nine rebounds, and Caron Bulter added 32 points and seven rebounds, and the visiting Washington Wizards held off the Sacramento Kings, 110-107, after nearly blowing a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. Andray Blatche added 20 points for the Wizards (9-32). Beno Udrih and John Salmons each scored 24 for the Kings (10-33).

Celtics 98, Heat 83: : Eddie House scored 20 points in the second quarter, finishing with 25, and visiting Boston ran its winning streak to six games by defeating Miami. The Celtics (35-9) were a season-high 15-for-25 - matching the most threes allowed by the Heat (22-19) in its 21 seasons.

Knicks 114, Suns 109: : Nate Robinson made up for a momentum-shifting technical foul with 20 points, and Tim Thomas scored all 10 of his points in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter as host New York (17-24) beat Phoenix (23-17).

Bucks 133, Mavericks 99: : Charlie Villanueva had 32 points and 10 rebounds, helping host Milwaukee (21-24) end a two-game skid with a win over Dallas (24-18).

Pistons 95, Raptors 76: : Tayshaun Prince scored 12 of his 25 points in the third quarter, helping host Detroit (24-17) pull away from Toronto (16-28). The Pistons used Richard Hamilton as a reserve after the All-Star shooting guard started his first 611 games, including the playoffs, in his seven seasons with the team.

Rockets 108, Jazz 99: : Yao Ming had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and host Houston (27-16) beat Utah. Deron Williams had 32 points and 11 assists for the Jazz (25-18).

Hornets 102, Nets 92: : Chris Paul narrowly missed his fifth triple double of the season with 29 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and host New Orleans (26-13) beat New Jersey (19-23).

Bobcats 101, Grizzlies 86: : Raja Bell scored 25 points, Emeka Okafor added 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Charlotte (17-25) defeated visiting Memphis (11-30).

S. Williams, Nadal advance in Australia

et cetera

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