Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Jonathan Papelbon were among 111 players who filed for salary arbitration Thursday, an annual ritual that gives many of them large pay increases.
World Series MVP Cole Hamels, Florida second baseman Dan Uggla and Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks also filed for arbitration.
Players who still haven’t settled with their teams will exchange figures Tuesday. In most years, more than half the players who file reach agreements before the swap of proposed salaries.
Among the 110 players who filed last year, just eight went to hearings and clubs won six of those.
•Postseason games must finish: All postseason games will be played to their conclusion under a change to the major league rules approved by baseball owners.
Owners also voted to use head-to-head records to replace coin flips when determining home-field advantage for tiebreaker games in division and wild-card races.
•Bonds wants evidence dismissed: Lawyers for Barry Bonds on Thursday attacked as inadmissible much of the government’s known evidence in its perjury prosecution, including planned testimony from former mistress Kimberly Bell that she witnessed rages and physical changes allegedly caused by steroid use.
•Source says Red Sox, Youkilis agree: The Red Sox and infielder Kevin Youkilis have agreed to a four-year contract, a baseball official told the Associated Press. The deal would reportedly guarantee Youkilis about $41 million, with a $13 million club option for 2013 with a $1 million buyout. Also, Bartolo Colon returned to the White Sox for a second stint when he agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract; the Braves finalized their $60 million, four-year contract with Derek Lowe after the right-hander passed a physical; and David Eckstein and the Padres agreed on a one-year contract.
•Woodward returns: Former Seattle Mariners general manager Woody Woodward is rejoining the organization as a scout.
Woodward’s addition was one of three moves the Mariners announced Thursday.
Bulls surprise Cavs
Luol Deng scored 22 points and Derrick Rose finished with 16 after a slow start to lead the Chicago Bulls to a surprising 102-93 overtime victory over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers after LeBron James missed a jumper at the end of regulation.
Tied at 87 through regulation after James’ 18-footer banged off the rim, the Bulls scored 12 of the first 13 points in OT to avoid a four-game sweep by the Cavaliers.
•Roy leads Blazers: Brandon Roy scored 29 points and rookie Jerryd Bayless added a career-high 23 to lead visiting Portland over New Jersey, snapping the Nets’ season-high four-game home winning streak.
Bruins slip past Isles
Tim Thomas made 40 saves, and Marc Savard and Martin St. Pierre scored goals to help the visiting Boston Bruins win their fourth straight game, 2-1 over the New York Islanders.
Thomas was on the verge of his fourth shutout of the season, but Bill Guerin swept in a rebound with 53.2 seconds left.
•Sabres win in shootout: Jason Pominville beat Marty Turco with a wrist shot in the sixth round of the shootout, and Ryan Miller turned aside five of six attempts for Buffalo as the Sabres defeated the Dallas Stars 5-4 at Dallas.
49ers interview Linehan for OC
The San Francisco 49ers brought in former Rams coach Scott Linehan for his second interview in six days Thursday, a sign that the team is close to finding its new offensive coordinator.
Linehan is a former quarterback and assistant coach at the University of Idaho.
•Rams don’t want Haslett: Jim Haslett has been eliminated from consideration for the St. Louis Rams’ coaching job.
The interim head coach was 2-10 after being elevated from defensive coordinator when Scott Linehan was fired following an 0-4 start.
•Former Eagle dies: William Russell “Russ” Craft, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles 1948 and 1949 championship teams who shares the NFL record of four interceptions in a game, died Tuesday in Wellsbrurg, W.V. He was 89.
Harvin ready to try NFL
The deadline for underclassmen to make themselves eligible for the NFL draft was Thursday. Versatile receiver Percy Harvin gave up his senior season at Florida, no surprise considering he stands a good chance to be picked early in the first round.
All-American linebacker Brandon Spikes is coming back for his senior season to help Tim Tebow and the Gators try to repeat in 2009.
Also announcing they were leaving school were LSU receiver Brandon LaFell and Ohio State defensive back Donald Washington.
Coming back for their senior seasons were Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy and Oregon cornerback Jairus Byrd.
•Utah coach wins Bryant Award: Utah’s Kyle Whittingham won the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.
Before receiving the award, Whittingham spent the afternoon campaigning for a playoff system after his team went undefeated but didn’t get a spot in the national championship because it is not a BCS school.
Maruyama leads Sony
Shigeki Maruyama took a step back from obscurity on the PGA Tour with a 5-under 65 in the wind and occasional rain for a one-shot lead in the Sony Open at Honolulu.
Geoff Ogilvy, Boo Weekley, Brian Gay and Webb Simpson were at 66.
•Sounders pick Zakuani: The expansion Seattle Sounders FC took Steve Zakuani out of Akron with the first pick in the MLS SuperDraft, rather than opt for a defender who might make an immediate impression.
The 20-year-old Zakuani led the nation with 20 goals and 27 points this season as a sophomore. He was Soccer America’s player of the year and was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy as the top Division I player.
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