Sports

Tigers and Cabrera agree to 8-year deal

South Carolina's Reese Havens forces the out on Mississippi State's Russ Sneed and turns the double play during the second inning at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia.
South Carolina's Reese Havens forces the out on Mississippi State's Russ Sneed and turns the double play during the second inning at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia.

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers have reached a preliminary agreement on a $152.3 million, eight-year contract, according a personal familiar with the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because the contract was not yet final. The third baseman must pass a physical before the agreement can be finalized.

Cabrera agreed on Jan. 18 to an $11.3 million salary for this season. The new deal adds $141 million over the following seven seasons.

Cabrera will earn $15 million in 2009, when he would have been eligible for salary arbitration. He will average $21 million annually over the next six seasons, when he would have been eligible for free agency.

Cabrera's average salary of $19,037,500 will be the fourth-highest in the major leagues behind those of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million), New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana ($22,916,667) and Boston left fielder Manny Ramirez ($20 million).

His deal will be the fourth-highest package. Rodriguez is starting a $275 million, 10-year contract, Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is entering the eighth season of a $189 million, 10-year deal and Ramirez is in the final guaranteed season of a $160 million, eight-year contract.

• Mexico City, San Juan, Tokyo and Toronto were selected to host first-round games during the second World Baseball Classic in 2009.

The 16-nation tournament will switch from a round-robin to a double-elimination format during the first two rounds. Japan won the initial WBC in 2006, beating Cuba 10-6 in the final at San Diego.

Sites for the later rounds have not yet been announced. Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is the leading candidate to host the semifinals and final.

"The 2009 World Baseball Classic will further demonstrate the remarkable global growth of our game," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "There has been incredible demand to host the games of the second World Baseball Classic."

Unlike 2006, teams that advance from the second round will cross over for the semifinals and face opponents from the other side of the bracket.

• SWIMMING -- Alain Bernard broke the world record in the 50-meter freestyle for his third world mark in three days at the European swimming championships.

The Frenchman swam 21.50 seconds to beat the time of 21.56 set last month by Eamon Sullivan of Australia, who lowered Alexander Popov's previous record of 21.64 set in Moscow on June 16, 2000.

Bernard set a world record of 47.50 seconds to win the 100 freestyle final on Saturday. That took one-tenth of a second off the record of 47.60 he swam Friday in the semifinals to shatter Pieter van den Hoogenband's old mark set at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- W.D. "Red" Stroud, a former Mississippi State basketball star and member of the state's Sports Hall of Fame, has died after battling leukemia. He was 66.

Stroud was a member of the 1963 Bulldogs when the team left Starkville against the wishes of Mississippi leaders to play in the NCAA Tournament against an integrated Loyola team.

During those turbulent years, Mississippi's universities were pressured not to participate in games against teams that had been integrated.

• AUTO RACING -- Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen won the Malaysian Grand Prix and revived Formula One's title series, setting up an expected season-long struggle with McLaren.

Raikkonen had moved ahead of pole-sitting teammate Felipe Massa after the first set of pitstops at Sepang and cruised to victory, 20 seconds ahead of BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica, with McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen a further 19 seconds back in third.

Massa spun off on the 31st lap under no pressure while running in second place.

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