The A's signed first baseman Daric Barton to a new one-year contract Friday shortly after claiming catcher Chris Gimenez, a Gilroy native, from Tampa Bay on waivers.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Gimenez, Oakland released pitcher Pedro Figueroa.

Barton spent most of last season at Triple-A Sacramento, but after being called up by the A's in mid-August, he hit .301 with two homers.

Gimenez spent most of 2013 at Triple-A Durham. He told the Tampa Bay Times that playing for the A's is "a childhood dream, an absolutely awesome Christmas present."

  • Giants left-hander Eric Surkamp was designated for assignment, clearing a roster spot for recently signed outfielder Michael Morse. The Giants also added Ryan Vogelsong to the 40-man roster, a move that was delayed by a paperwork backlog at the league office. Surkamp, 26, spent most of the past two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. Another roster spot could clear in the coming days if first baseman Brett Pill reaches agreement to play overseas.

  • Arizona avoided arbitration with Brad Ziegler by agreeing to a two-year, $10.5 million deal with the reliever. The Diamondbacks also signed third baseman Eric Chavez to a $3.5 million, one-year deal.

  • The Chicago Cubs agreed to a minor league deal with former Giants left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who had an 11.85 ERA in five appearances for Pittsburgh last season.

  • Texas agreed to a minor league deal with infielder Kensuke Tanaka, who made his big league debut at 32 with the Giants last season.

  • Baltimore reliever Troy Patton was suspended for 25 games by MLB after a positive test for a banned amphetamine. He told the Baltimore Sun that he took just one Adderall pill to improve his short-term focus.

  • Infielder Kevin Youkilis agreed to a $4 million, one-year deal with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League.

    College football

    Utah demoted former 49ers coach Dennis Erickson to running backs coach and hired ex-Wyoming coach Dave Christensen as offensive coordinator. Erickson and Brian Johnson were co-offensive coordinators this season. Johnson will continue to be quarterbacks coach, said coach Kyle Whittingham.

  • Boise State interim coach Bob Gregory said quarterback Joe Southwick was sent home for a rules violation. The Broncos play Oregon State in the Hawaii Bowl on Tuesday in Honolulu. Danville's Southwick returned to action Nov. 30 against New Mexico after breaking his ankle Oct. 19.

  • Third-year sophomore running back Melvin Gordon will return to Wisconsin next season instead of entering the NFL draft.

  • Linebacker Eric Kendricks had ankle surgery, leaving UCLA (9-3) without its leading tackler when it faces Virginia Tech (8-4) in the Sun Bowl.

    Soccer

    Landon Donovan was a near-unanimous choice to U.S. Soccer's all-time First XI. He was paired at midfield with Clint Dempsey, the only other current U.S. national team player selected. Eric Wynalda, now a Fox TV analyst, was named as a forward.

  • Dempsey will return to Fulham on loan from the Seattle Sounders. He played for the English Premier League team from 2007-12.

    Staff writers John Hickey and Alex Pavlovic and the Associated Press contributed to this report.