Ohio State hires Ash to fill final two spots
• Ohio State coach Urban Meyer filled the last of two vacancies on his coaching staff with the hiring of Chris Ash as the team’s co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach. Ash, 40, was coordinator and secondary coach at Arkansas last season, filling the same role the previous two years at Wisconsin, also under Bret Bielema. Ash replaces Everett Withers, who left after the season to become head coach at James Madison. Ash, a Drake graduate, will share coordinator duties with holdover Luke Fickell. An email issued by OSU did not specify who will make defensive calls.
Tribe gives Aardsma shot to make bullpen
• The Indians agreed to terms with free-agent reliever David Aardsma on a minor-league contract with an invitation to training camp. Aardsma, 32, spent most of last season in the New York Mets’ bullpen. He went 2-2 with a 4.31 ERA in 43 games.
• The Tampa Bay Rays signed right-handed closer Grant Balfour to a 2-year, $12 million deal. Balfour, 36, was 62-for-67 in save opportunities the past two seasons with the Oakland Athletics.
• Outfielder Endy Chavez is remaining with the Seattle Mariners and will report to spring training next month with a minor-league contract.
• Reliever Jon Rauch agreed to a minor-league contract with the Kansas City Royals and will report to the major-league spring training camp. Rauch, 35, was just 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA in 15 appearances for the Marlins last season.
• Greg Maddux and Tony La Russa will not have logos on their hall of fame plaques. The decision was announced by the hall, which said Joe Torre’s plaque will have the logo of the New York Yankees. Plaques for Tom Glavine and Bobby Cox will have Atlanta Braves logos, and Frank Thomas’ will have the logo of the Chicago White Sox.
Cink tops PGA event in California with 64
• Stewart Cink had eight birdies and no bogeys and carded an 8-under 64 to take a 1-stroke lead over Gary Woodland after the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open in La Jolla, Calif. Four are at 2 under.
• Rafa Cabrera-Bello birdied four of his last five holes for a 7-under 65 to take a 2-shot lead after the second round of the Qatar Masters in Doha, Qatar. The Spaniard had three straight birdies from the 14th and then rolled in another at 18 for a 13-under total of 131. He overtook first-round leader George Coetzee of South Africa.
• Lydia Ko, 16, took a share of the lead in her first start as an LPGA Tour member, matching Meena Lee with a 5-under 68 in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic in Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Colombian star set for left knee surgery
• Monaco says star forward Radamel Falcao will have surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury that could cause the Colombian to miss this year’s World Cup. Falcao, 27, left the field on a stretcher Wednesday night after getting hurt when tackled by defender Soner Ertek during a French Cup match against an amateur club.
— From wire reports