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9:00 PM ET, January 5, 2013

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Fox Sports:
Berkman close to signing with Texas  —  The Texas Rangers — closing in on a new designated hitter — are finalizing an agreement with free agent Lance Berkman, according to major-league sources.  —  The contract is expected to be for one year in the $10 million to $11 million range …
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Fox Sports:
Sources: Upton trade talks still on  —  Justin Upton for Chase Headley?  —  The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres have held on-and-off discussions about a trade involving those players since July, but the talks have failed to progress, according to major-league sources.
Zach Links / MLB Rumors:
Rangers To Sign Lance Berkman  —  5:52pm: Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas clarifies (on Twitter) that the option vests at 550 plate appearances, not at-bats.  —  3:32pm: The veteran will need to hit 525-550 at-bats for his 2014 option to vest, according to Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter).
Discussion: HardballTalk and Getting Blanked
Jon Heyman / CBSSports.com Sports News …:
Aubrey Huff intends to play in 2013, hopes an opportunity opens up
Tom Pelissero / 1500 ESPN SportsWire:
SportsWire Vikings Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder dealing with elbow bursitis  —  GREEN BAY, Wis. — The injury to Christian Ponder's throwing elbow is more than a bruise.  —  The Minnesota Vikings' quarterback once again is dealing with elbow bursitis — a buildup of fluid that may need …
Troy E. Renck / Denver Post:
Rockies show some interest in pitchers Brandon Webb, Jeff Karstens  —  While remaining open to a trade to add pitching, the Rockies have expressed mild interest in low-risk free agents Brandon Webb and Jeff Karstens.  —  Bill Geivett, the Rockies' director of major-league operations …
Discussion: HardballTalk, Purple Row and MLB Rumors
Jon Heyman / CBSSports.com Sports News …:
Showalter extension may add three years to his Orioles deal  —  Manager Buck Showalter's contract extension, which may be announced next week, is expected to be for three years, which would keep him in Baltimore through the 2016 season, people familiar with the talks suggested.
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
Infusion of $160 Million Gives Mets a Chance to Spend, Perhaps on Talent  —  The Mets' owners, who were financially hobbled by Bernard L. Madoff's immense fraud scheme, now have about $160 million in new money to spend.  —  The cash infusion, as refreshing to the co-owners Fred Wilpon …
Anthony Rieber / Newsday:
Alex Rodriguez on schedule for hip surgery  —  Alex Rodriguez has not suffered any setbacks in his preparation for hip surgery and has a tentative date for the procedure, according to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.  —  “We have a tentative date, but I'm not going to reveal it,” Cashman said Friday.
RELATED:
Andrew Marchand / ESPN:
Mariano Rivera to start throwing  —  DANBURY, Conn. — Still not fully recovered from his season-ending knee injury, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said he will alter his winter throwing program to compensate for all the time he missed in 2012.  —  “It is not 100 percent,” Rivera said Saturday.
Discussion: HardballTalk
Dan Connolly / Baltimore Sun:
Free agent Joe Saunders says he'd ‘love to come back to Baltimore’  —  Lefty wants to pitch for a contender, seeks multi-year deal  —  Joe Saunders' offseason has been spent golfing, working out, entertaining at his Arizona home and being a father to his 2-year-old and 4-year-old girls.
Discussion: Camden Chat and HardballTalk
Juliet Macur / New York Times:
In Reversal, Armstrong Is Said to Weigh Admitting Drug Use  —  Lance Armstrong, who this fall was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping and barred for life from competing in all Olympic sports, has told associates and antidoping officials that he is considering publicly admitting …
 
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 More News: 
Todd Zolecki / MLB.com:
Amaro searching for veteran corner outfielder
Discussion: MLB Rumors
MLB.com:
Catcher Martinez claimed, Whiteside clears waivers
Discussion: Lone Star Ball
Chad Jennings / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
Chris Dickerson designated for assignment
Discussion: MLB Rumors and River Avenue Blues
 Earlier Picks: 
MLB.com:
Olt to be honored as Rangers' top Minor Leaguer
Discussion: Lone Star Ball and ESPN
Ian Browne / MLB.com:
Blue Jays claim righty Beck off waivers
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Greg Johns / MLB.com:
Mariners outright Mitchell to Triple-A Tacoma
Discussion: MLB Rumors
Daniel Dale / Toronto Star:
Jose Canseco considers run against Rob Ford to be Toronto mayor
Discussion: Deadspin, Drunk Jays Fans and NESN.com
 

 
From WeSmirch:

TMZ.com:
Justin Bieber — Arrested for ATV Accident with Photogs (UPDATE)

Mary Green / People.com:
How Angelina Jolie Honored Her Mom at Her Wedding

Mike Vulpo / E! Online:
NEWS/ Melissa Rivers Remains Focused on Joan Rivers' Road to Recovery, Is “Keeping Everyone Together”

 
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