On leave NBA players’ association executive director Billy Hunter is being placed on an indefinite leave of absence following a report that was critical of his leadership and decision-making. The union is forming an interim executive committee and advisory committee, president Derek Fisher said in a statement released Friday. Fisher pushed for the outside review of Hunter and the union, which found no illegal use of funds but cited Hunter for a number of poor choices and urged players to consider during their All-Star weekend meetings whether he should remain in charge. Released last month after an eight-month review, the report found that Hunter was aware his $3 million per year contract was never properly approved, criticized his hiring of family members and friends, and said there were other conflicts of interests he should have avoided.
AgreedTravis Hafner and the New York Yankees have agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract that allows him to earn up to $4 million more in bonuses. Limited by injuries the past five seasons, the 35-year-old gives the Yankees a designated hitter with power potential from the left side. He essentially takes over the role filled last season by Raul Ibanez, who signed a $2.75 million, one-year deal with Seattle.
• Left-hander Manny Parra and the Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. In addition, the Reds agreed to a minor league deal with catcher Miguel Olivo. Parra, 30, went 3-10 with a 5.06 ERA last year in 16 starts and 26 relief appearances. Olivo, 34, hit .222 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs in 315 at-bats last year for Seattle.
• Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a $1.1 million, one-year contract and avoided salary arbitration.
Returning Tennis star Rafael Nadal says it’s time to test his injured left knee after sitting out for seven months, the longest break of his career. The 26-year-old Nadal arrived in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Friday and headed to the nearby coastal resort city of Vina del Mar. He’s scheduled to play next week in his first event since losing in the second round of Wimbledon. Nadal says the knee still bothers him.