Sports briefs for Nov. 12, 2013

Posted Nov. 12, 2013, at 6:18 p.m.

Phillies sign Byrd for 2 years, $16 million

The Philadelphia Phillies signed free agent outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two-year contract, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The deal is for $16 million, according to ESPN New York.

Byrd’s signing is the first major free-agent deal of the offseason.

Byrd, 36, revitalized his career this past season with the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted a combined .291 with a career-high 24 homers and 88 RBIs during the regular season, then drove in five runs in six postseason games with Pittsburgh.

Last season was a remarkable turnaround from 2012, when Byrd started 3-for-43 (.070) for the Cubs before being traded to the Red Sox. He was released by the Red Sox June 12. He then was suspended for 50 games after a positive test for a banned substance.

A little over a year ago, Byrd was playing in Mexico, hoping it would lead to one more chance in the majors.

Bayne diagnosed with MS, will keep driving

Former Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne said Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but has received medical clearance to continue racing.

That clearance has come from physicians at the Mayo Clinic and from NASCAR, said Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner who drives for Roush Fenway Racing.

“I appreciate everyone’s concern and their willingness to call and to want to find out more and all their support,” said Bayne, who spoke with strong conviction about being an inspiration for others battling MS. “(We wanted) to make this announcement because we didn’t want to keep everybody in the dark about things once we got information and got a diagnosis.”

Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, joined Bayne on a media teleconference in making the announcement and expressed the organization’s full support of Bayne.

Jaguars’ Reynolds suspended 4 games

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie LaRoy Reynolds has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances. He will be eligible to return to the active roster the day after the team’s Dec. 5 game against the Houston Texans.

Reynolds was signed as an undrafted rookie out of Virginia, and was a surprise in training camp as he pushed Geno Hayes and Russell Allen for playing time. He has six tackles while seeing action in nine games as a reserve linebacker.

Bucs confirm RB James breaks ankle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Mike James broke his left ankle in Monday night’s victory over the Miami Dolphins and will miss the rest of the season, coach Greg Schiano confirmed Tuesday.

The news comes less than a week after the Buccaneers placed running back Doug Martin on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Against the Dolphins, James carried five times for 41 yards before sustaining the ankle injury. He was carted off the field after a carry near the goal line.

James ran the ball well the week before, gaining 158 yards in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Jones plans no Cowboys coaching changes

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on his radio show Tuesday he doesn’t plan any changes to the coaching staff during the bye week.

Jones said defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin wouldn’t be a midseason departure and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan would continue his play-calling duties.

There had been speculation about possible changes following the Cowboys’ 49-17 loss Sunday night to the New Orleans Saints.

“Say it any way you want to, I’m not even going to address — really I’m not — the coaching staff as to whether they’re safe or they’re not,” Jones said on KRLD-FM. “We’re 5-5. We’re tied for the lead in our division. We’ve got players coming back. We’ve got one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. We’re off of a rough loss.

“That doesn’t call for major changes out here at all.”

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