Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 18, 2014

Sports briefs, Jan. 18


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Thatcher signs deal with Diamondbacks

PHOENIX — Kokomo native Joe Thatcher avoided arbitration and agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the club announced Friday. The deal is reportedly worth $2.375 million, according to azsnakepit.com.

Thatcher was traded from San Diego to Arizona during the 2013 season. Combined between both clubs, the left-handed relief pitcher appeared in a career-high 72 games, amassing a 3-2 record and 3.20 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings.

In seven seasons, Thatcher has an ERA of 3.34 with 217 strikeouts against 75 walks in 207 2/3 innings.

Scherzer, Tigers agree at $15,525,000

DETROIT (AP) — Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract that leaves his future with the Detroit Tigers as uncertain as ever.

The AL Cy Young Award winner’s deal for 2014 is worth $15,525,000, and it enables Scherzer and the Tigers to avoid arbitration with the right-hander’s free agency still looming less than a year away.

Scherzer could have an even bigger payday coming soon — one way or another. He is eligible to go on the market after the season, although the Tigers would love to sign a long-term contract with him.

General manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday this one-year agreement doesn’t necessarily preclude a lengthier deal before opening day.

The 29-year-old Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts last season, and the Tigers advanced to the AL championship series against Boston. He made $6,725,000 last year, and another stellar season could put the right-hander in position for a contract similar to those of teammate Justin Verlander ($180 million for seven years) and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez ($175 million for seven) or even the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw ($215 million for seven).

IUK basketball team turns back Brescia

The Indiana University Kokomo men’s basketball team beat visiting Brescia University 78-71 Thursday night in Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

“It’s a great conference win,” IUK coach Jace Thompson said. “We came into the game saying we were going to pound the post but our guys adjusted well mid-game to [Dylan Mosack] being out.”

Moscak was slowed by foul trouble most of the game.

Nick Teeter hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Cougars. David Kelly had 14 points and five boards and Moscak had 10 points.

The Cougars travel to Cincinnati Christian on Tuesday for another KIAC game.

Vanderbilt hires Mason as coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt took less than a week before filling its vacant head football coaching position, announcing Friday the university had tabbed Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

Mason will be introduced at a news conference today.

Mason, 44, has spent the past four seasons at Stanford where academic requirements and recruiting challenges are similar to Vanderbilt. He joined former coach Jim Harbaugh’s staff in 2010 as a defensive backs coach after serving in the same position with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings from 2007-09.

He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach when David Shaw took over in January 2011. He has had complete control over the unit the last two years.

Mason replaces James Franklin who left for Penn State on Jan. 11. Vanderbilt wrapped up its search in exactly a week.