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8:20 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 …
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: Getting Blanked and Rays Index
Jon Heyman / 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 / 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.
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.
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 …
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
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 /
Amaro searching for veteran corner outfielder
Discussion: MLB Rumors
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
Olt to be honored as Rangers' top Minor Leaguer
Discussion: Lone Star Ball and ESPN
 Earlier Picks: 
Ian Browne /
Blue Jays claim righty Beck off waivers
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
Greg Johns /
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
Jeff Schuler / Morning Call:
Catasauqua's Anthony Recker ready for fresh start with New York Mets
Discussion: Metsblog and MLB Rumors

From WeSmirch:

Leo Barraclough / Variety:
Woody Allen ‘Sad’ About Harvey Weinstein Allegations for ‘Everybody Involved’

CELEBS  —  Ed Sheeran has been knocked down by a car in London, the singer has confirmed.

Meg Swertlow / E! Online:
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander Are Married

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