Hired The new athletic director at Miami is Blake James, who has been hired after serving in the job on an interim capacity for the past four months. Miami officials made the announcement Friday, confirming it after a meeting of the university’s board of trustees.
Signed The Arizona Diamondbacks and second baseman Aaron Hill have agreed to a three-year, $35 million contract. The deal puts the 30-year-old infielder under contract through the 2016 season. Hill hit .302 with 26 home runs and 85 RBIs last season.
• The St. Louis Cardinals and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese have reached agreement on a one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration. Terms of the deal announced Friday were not disclosed. Freese (.283, 20 HRs, 79 RBIs in 2012) is a St. Louis County native.
• Third baseman Chone Figgins has signed a minor-league contract with the Miami Marlins with an invitation to their major-league camp beginning next week. Figgins hit .181 in 66 games with Seattle last season.
• The New York Mets have signed reliever Brandon Lyon to a one-year deal. The right-hander went 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 61 innings, with a save and 63 strikeouts for Houston and Toronto.
• The Columbus Crew have agreed to terms with 25-year-old Argentine midfielder Matias Sanchez, who played from 2008-12 with Estudiantes of his country’s Primera Division. Interviewed Former Dallas Cowboys assistant Rob Ryan has interviewed with the New Orleans Saints for their vacant defensive coordinator job. The team said Ryan met with coach Sean Payton on Friday. Payton interviewed University of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham on Thursday. But Grantham announced on Friday he had withdrawn from consideration for the job.
Injured The Portland Timbers announced that Bright Dike will have surgery Monday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The 26-year-old striker sustained the injury in Tuesday’s preseason match against Seattle. Dike, who represents Nigeria internationally, saw considerable action in the second half of last season, scoring five goals in 12 games.
• Li Na has pulled out of next week’s Qatar Open because of the ankle injury she sustained in the Australia Open final.
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