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CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James is a free agent after declining his player option for next season with the NBA champion Cavaliers.
The move was expected by James, who said last week he intends to remain with Cleveland. The 31-year-old star has been a free agent the past three summers, electing each time to sign one-year contracts with a player option. It's not yet known if he'll sign another short-term deal or a multiyear package.
James was scheduled to make $24 million next season.
He was named Finals MVP after he helped the Cavs overcome a 3-1 deficit and beat the Golden State Warriors. The three-time champion averaged 29.7 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.9 assists in the series. James posted a triple-double in Game 7 as the Cavs ended Cleveland's 52-year championship drought.
He's in his second stint with the Cavs after leaving as a free agent in 2010.
SEATTLE (AP) - Sean Rodriguez doubled in consecutive at-bats and drove in four runs, David Freese hit a solo home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 on Wednesday night to split a brief two-game interleague series.
Rodriguez was responsible for breaking the game open in the fifth inning with a three-run double into the left-field corner off Seattle reliever Donn Roach. Rodriguez doubled an inning earlier off starter Wade Miley (6-4) to score Starling Marte.
Freese got it all started with a solo home run on the first pitch of the second inning. It was a three-run inning for Pittsburgh, capped by a two-run double from Josh Harrison.
All that offense backed a strong start from rookie right-hander Jameson Taillon (2-1), who pitched six innings, giving up just one run and six hits.