Cards’ Pujols wants new deal
before spring training opens
Albert Pujols will sign autographs for $175 apiece today during a fundraiser at the St. Louis Cardinals’ Winter Warmup. The team has until the start of spring training to get the three-time National League Most Valuable Player to sign a new contract.
General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the deadline set by Pujols, but declined Saturday to characterize negotiations. The Cardinals exercised a $16 million option for next season on Pujols’ contract in October.
Both sides want to keep the negotiations private, with the Cardinals trying to keep the superstar in St. Louis beyond 2011.
Pujols, 30, led the National League with 42 home runs and 118 RBIs last season, and he also topped 400 career homers.
Also: Free-agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth agreed to a $3.25 million, one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, after the right-hander spent last year with Kansas City and Atlanta.
Free-agent pitcher Bruce Chen is expected to re-sign with the Kansas City Royals. The left-handed starter agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract.
The St. Louis Cardinals and reliever Kyle McClellan agreed on a one-year contract worth $1,375,000, avoiding arbitration.
The Philadelphia Phillies avoided arbitration with outfielder Ben Francisco, agreeing to a $1,175,000, one-year contract.
The Oakland Athletics and reliever Brad Ziegler agreed to a $1.25 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.
Catcher Geovany Soto, the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The Cubs will honor Ron Santo with a statue outside Wrigley Field, and the team will wear a special patch next season to pay tribute to the former broadcaster and third baseman. Santo died of complications from bladder cancer at the age of 70 on Dec. 3.
Cecil Fisk, the father of Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk died at 97 in Claremont, N.H.
Ozzie Canseco, a former major league player and the twin brother of former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco, was arrested on DUI charges early Saturday morning in Tampa, Fla.
Barnes reaches stepladder finals
at PBA World Championship
Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, defeated Michael Haugen of Carefree, Ariz., 243-172 to advance to today’s four-man stepladder finals in the PBA World Championship at the South Point Bowling Center.
Today’s eliminations begin at 10 a.m. with Barnes facing Osku Palermaa in the first match, and the winner playing Sean Rash. Top-seeded Bill O’Neill will bowl against the winner of the second match, with the major title and a $50,000 first prize on the line.
Also: Jesse Jones took the overall lead in the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge, heading into the final day of racing at the Laughlin Events Center.
Jones, the reigning SCORE overall and Trophy-Truck series champion, overtook early leaders B.J. Baldwin and Robby Gordon after both had mechanical problems. Las Vegas rookie Bryce Menzies, 23, is second, just four seconds behind.
Racing resumes at 7 a.m. today, with the featured Trophy-Truck race at 1 p.m.
Lleyton Hewitt defeated Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, Australia, capping Hewitt’s preparations for his homeland’s major event, the Australian Open,
Kansas State basketball player Freddy Asprilla, a junior center who started 13 games and averaged 4.9 points and 4.9 rebounds, left the 21st-ranked squad. Coach Frank Martin said Asprilla will likely look into pro opportunities in his home country of Colombia.
Toronto Raptors guard Leandro Barbosa, averaging 13.4 points, is expected to miss one to two weeks with a strained right hamstring.
Tapizar pulled away from Clubhouse Ride for a 4¼-length victory in the $100,000 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., giving trainer Steve Asmussen an early contender for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Tapizar ran 1 1/16 miles in 1 minute, 40.38 seconds.
Rumyana Terzieva was the lone UNLV women’s tennis player to notch a win during the second day of the Freeman Memorial Championships at the Fertitta Tennis Complex. Terzieva beat Oregon’s Lana Buttner 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 and was named co-champion of flight two, along with teammate Ella Bourchier, who won her match Friday.
The 16th-ranked UNLV men’s swimming and diving team defeated Wyoming 161-133, clinching at least a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title. John Mendoza won the 500 and 1,000-yard freestyle, and Cody Roberts won the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly to lead the Rebels (7-1, 4-0 MWC).
The UNLV women’s team (5-7, 4-3) lost to Wyoming, 187-113. Jessica Heim won the 500 and 1,000 freestyle for the Rebels.