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MLB notebook: White Sox give Ventura an extension

| Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 10:12 p.m.
A pocket watch that was given to Babe Ruth in 1923 is displayed at Heritage Auctions office in Dallas, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
A pocket watch that was given to Babe Ruth in 1923 is displayed at Heritage Auctions office in Dallas, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox agreed to a multi-year contract extension with manager Robin Ventura on Friday, hours before their annual fan convention.

The terms were not disclosed. Ventura turned down an extension before the 2013 season, leading to speculation he might not stick around much longer.

“We have been on the same page since Day 1, but I'm very happy to have this behind us so we can continue to keep our focus on the playing field,” Ventura said in a statement.

He led the White Sox to 85 wins and a second-place finish in the American League Central in 2012, but they dropped to 63-99 while finishing last in his second season.

Cubs, Wood reach deal

The Cubs have agreed to a one-year contract with All-Star pitcher Travis Wood, avoiding arbitration. A person familiar with the situation said Friday that the deal is for $3.9 million. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the terms were not announced by the team.

Wood was the Cubs' most consistent starter last year and made the All-Star team, going 9-12 with a 3.11 ERA.

Ruth's watch in auction

Babe Ruth's 1923 World Series championship pocket watch, for decades thought to be lost to history, is coming to a New York City auction, where it's expected to fetch at least $750,000.

Ruth batted .368 and hit three homers in the 1923 World Series as the Yankees won the championship by beating the New York Giants in six games.

The pentagonal gold timepiece is being sold at Heritage Auction's Feb. 22 sale.

The present owner, who wished to remain anonymous, declined to be interviewed. He said through Heritage that he acquired the watch for about $200,000 and was parting with it now to help fund charitable organizations important to him.

Seattle promotes Mather

The Mariners promoted Kevin Mather to team president and chief operating officer Friday, replacing Chuck Armstrong, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Mather had been serving as executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations. He has been with the team since July 1996 and had held that position since 1999.

Around the league

The Braves agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Freddy Garcia and invited him to their big league spring training camp. Garcia, 37, went 1-2 with a 1.65 ERA in six games for the Braves. ... The Giants acquired left-hander David Huff from the Yankees for cash, two days after he was designated for assignment by New York to make room for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka. ... The Dodgers signed infielder Chone Figgins to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. The 36-year-old last played in the majors in 2012 with Seattle. ... Daisuke Matsuzaka is staying with the Mets. The 33-year-old right-hander agreed Friday to a minor league contract.

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