Penny finalizes deal with Red Sox

Righthander Brad Penny finalized a $5 million, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Penny, a two-time All-Star who won a championship with the Florida Marlins, was injured and had an off season for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year, going 6-9 with a 6.27 ERA.

Penny, 30, was 94-75 in nine years for the Marlins and Dodgers, going 16-4 with a 3.03 ERA in '07 and finishing third in voting for the NL Cy Young Award.

• Utilityman Willie Bloomquist agreed to a $3.1 million, two-year contract and righthander Kyle Davies agreed to a $1.3 million, one-year deal with the Kansas City Royals.

• A source said the New York Mets are close to an agreement with righthander Tim Redding on a one-year contract worth about $2.25 million.

• Dave Roberts, a lefthanded pitcher who played for the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates during a 13-year career in the majors, died of lung cancer in Morgantown, W. Va., at age 64.

• Pitcher Shawn Estes agreed to terms of a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Barkley goes on leave

Charles Barkley is taking a leave of absence from the broadcast booth.

The announcement by Turner Sports came Friday, hours after police said the 45-year-old former NBA star was legally drunk when he was arrested Dec. 31 on suspicion of drunken driving in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Test results show Barkley had a blood-alcohol level of .149 percent.

Barkley will be off the air for a minimum of several weeks, and no return date has been set, a person familiar with the situation said.


Ogilvy keeps lead

Geoff Ogilvy three-putted his last two holes but still shot a 5-under-par 68 to hold on to the lead at 11-under 135 in the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua, Hawaii.

Ogilvy has a one-shot lead over D.J. Trahan, who shot a 66. Ernie Els shot a 69 and was two shots behind.


Auto teams merge

Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham Motorsports have come to a merger and will field a four-car Dodge team that will include the famed No. 43 team. The deal will be finalized later in the month and the teams will not release details of the transaction until then.

• Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel withdrew from the Dakar Rally with a blown engine while Carlos Sainz won the seventh stage across the Andes and regained the lead. Peterhansel carried on after an engine fire, but soon after his Mitsubishi Lancer broke down and he had to be towed home.


WNBA: The Minnesota Lynx waived forward Kristen Rasmussen on Friday. Rasmussen, a nine-year veteran, averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 31 games with the Lynx last season.

Swimming: Record-breaking Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has received a sponsorship deal with the automaker Mazda that is billed as China's largest ever for a foreign celebrity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

from news services