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4:50 PM ET, January 5, 2013


 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 …
Discussion: Lone Star Ball
Zach Links / MLB Rumors:
Rangers To Sign Lance Berkman  —  2:57pm: Berkman will receive a $10MM salary with a $1MM buyout, according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).  —  2:24pm: Berkman's deal will be in the $10-11MM range for one year, sources tell Rosenthal (on Twitter).
Jon Heyman / Sports News …:
Aubrey Huff intends to play in 2013, hopes an opportunity opens up  —  Aubrey Huff, the consistent power producer and 2010 Giants hero derailed by an episode of panic attacks in 2012, is looking to make a comeback in 2013.  —  “He wants to play,” Huff's attorney Ed Hayes said by phone.
Jon Heyman / 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.
Roch Kubatko / School of Roch:
Showalter nearing agreement on contract extension
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.
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: MLB Rumors, HardballTalk and Purple Row
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
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 …
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 …
Mike Axisa / MLB Rumors:
Dodgers Moving Towards Deal With J.P. Howell  —  The Dodgers are moving towards a one-year contract with J.P. Howell, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times (on Twitter).  The deal has not been finalized, however.  The left-hander is a Legacy Sports Group client.
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