Off the wire

FILE - Miami Marlins' Jorge Soler celebrates after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in San Diego. Free agent outfielder Jorge Soler has agreed to a $42 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations.  (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
FILE - Miami Marlins' Jorge Soler celebrates after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023, in San Diego. Free agent outfielder Jorge Soler has agreed to a $42 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

AUTO RACING

Teams hire antitrust lawyer

NASCAR teams have hired one of the country's top antitrust and sports lawyers to advise them in their ongoing dispute with the family-owned stock car series over a new revenue-sharing model. The decision to hire Jeffrey Kessler, partner and co-executive chair of Winston & Strawn LLP, followed a Saturday meeting at Daytona International Speedway that included the majority owner from each of the 15 chartered teams in NASCAR. Although the teams invited NASCAR representatives to attend, none did. Kessler's hiring was revealed to The Associated Press on Sunday, the eve of the rain-postponed Daytona 500, by the five members of the team ownership negotiating committee. It comes amid a breakdown in negotiations between teams and NASCAR that led the 36 chartered teams to decline last month to extend their exclusive negotiating window with the sanctioning body on the existing deal. The current charter agreement expires at the end of this season, and two years of talks were stalled by NASCAR's ongoing negotiations on a new $7.7 billion television rights deal announced in early December. Kessler has only been retained so far to help advise the teams in their negotiations. Kessler most recently successfully represented Division I college football and basketball players in a landmark antitrust case that led to financial stipends for athletes.

GOLF

Rain gives Ames a title

Stephen Ames captured his seventh PGA Tour Champions title Sunday without hitting a shot when the final round of the Chubb Classic was canceled because of a massive storm system moving across Florida. Tournament officials originally planned to play only nine holes for the final round at Tiburon Golf Club until a forecast of the storm getting stronger led to the cancellation. Ames shot an 8-under 64 on Saturday to build a three-shot lead over Rocco Mediate, and he was declared the winner. Ames now has five wins in his last 24 starts on PGA Tour Champions. Ames finished at 13-under 131 and earned $270,000. Mediate, who opened with a 63, was runner-up after a 71 on Saturday. Ernie Els was part of a four-way tie for third. Steven Alker, who won the last two Champions events dating to the end of last season, wound up in a tie for 15th.

BASEBALL

Giants, OF finalize deal

Jorge Soler and the San Francisco Giants finalized a $42 million, three-year contract on Sunday. The Cuban outfielder and designated hitter gets a $9 million signing bonus and salaries of $7 million this year and $13 million in each of the following two seasons. Soler, who turns 32 on Feb. 25, was a first-time All-Star last season with Miami. He played 137 games for Miami last season, batting .250 with 36 home runs and 75 RBI. He spent 102 games as DH and 32 in right field. Soler's total games were third-most in his 10-year big league career that included time with the Chicago Cubs (2014-16), Kansas City (2017-21), Atlanta (2021) and the Marlins (2022-23). He appeared in all 162 games for the Royals in 2019, then 149 during with Kansas City and the Braves in 2021.

TRACK & FIELD

Bol sets indoor record in 400

Femke Bol broke her 400-meter indoor world record on Sunday at the Netherlands' national championships, finishing in 49.24 seconds to shave two-hundredths of a second off the record she set a year ago. Bol, the 400-meter hurdles world champion, set the new record less than two weeks before the World Indoor Athletic Championships open in the Scottish city of Glasgow. She bettered her own record from a year ago that itself broke a 40-year-old record of 49.59 set by Jarmila Kratochvilova on March 7, 1982. Lieke Klaver finished second Sunday behind Bol in 50.10 at the Omnisport stadium in Apeldoorn.

TENNIS

Sinner wins in Rotterdam

Jannik Sinner won the ABN Amro Open on Sunday in his first tournament since capturing the Australian Open title. The top-seeded Sinner, playing his second consecutive Rotterdam final, beat fifth-seeded Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-4. Sinner hit 23 winners and prevailed despite wasting a break advantage in both sets. "I am really proud with the level that I played throughout this whole week," Sinner said. "We have been in tough situations but we handled it the right way. We will always try to improve, it is the most important." Sinner extended his perfect record against his Australian opponent to 7-0. Sinner, who lost last year's final to Daniil Medvedev, is set to rise to a career-high No. 3 in the ATP rankings today, the highest ever for an Italian man.

Acosta earns first title

Wild card Facundo Diaz Acosta won his first ATP singles title on Sunday by beating Chile's Nicolas Jarry 6-3, 6-4 in the final of the clay-court Argentina Open. The ATP said that the 23-year-old Argentine became only the second left-handed champion -- after Rafael Nadal -- at the Buenos Aires tournament. Diaz Acosta began the week with a career-high ranking of 87. He is set to rise to No. 59 when the rankings are released Monday. Third-seeded Jarry was chasing his fourth ATP title. Diaz Acosta's victory was easier than expected against Jarry, who struggled to compete after beating defending champion Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals. Alcaraz is now set to compete at the Rio Open in Brazil, also on clay, which he won in 2022.

  photo  FILE - Miami Marlins designated hitter Jorge Soler bats during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023, in Miami. Free agent outfielder Jorge Soler has agreed to a $42 million, three-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
 
 

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