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L.A. near deal with playoff star Lowe

By Associated Press
Published January 8, 2005

LOS ANGELES - The Dodgers closed in on a contract Friday with postseason hero Derek Lowe worth about $36-million over four years, and they finalized their deal to keep left-hander Odalis Perez.

Los Angeles was holding off finalizing a contract with the right-hander, wanting to complete a deal that would send outfielder Shawn Green to Arizona, the Associated Press reported.

Green did not reach an agreement with the Diamondbacks on a contract extension before Thursday's deadline, but the Dodgers gave Arizona until Monday to try for a new agreement to finalize a revised trade.

STEROID TALKS: One month after the players' union authorized its leaders to seek a more stringent steroid policy, there has been substantial progress in talks between union chief Don Fehr and baseball negotiator Rob Manfred, and an agreement is likely in the next week or two, the Los Angeles Times reported.

NAME CHANGE ON TRACK: The city of Anaheim was denied a temporary restraining order in its attempt to keep the Angels from adding Los Angeles to their name.

Superior Court Judge Peter Polos scheduled a hearing for Jan. 21 on the city's request for a preliminary injunction against the team, which says it is now called the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The city sued Wednesday, claiming the change wasn't permitted in the team's lease.

YANKS-BOSOX TO OPEN SEASON: Baseball's season opener will be played by the Yankees and Red Sox in New York on April 3. The game, originally scheduled for the day after, will start at 8:05 p.m. and be televised by ESPN2.

Also, the Yankees announced that former pitcher Dwight Gooden will return to his role as a special adviser to Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, the position he first held after his retirement at the end of spring training four years ago.

INDIANS: Concerned about right-hander Kevin Millwood's elbow, Cleveland structured his $7-million contract in a way to protect the team if he gets hurt while pitching. Millwood's $4-million signing bonus is contingent on him not spending more than 20 days on the disabled list for a shoulder or elbow injury sustained while pitching, not fielding or batting.

MARLINS: The team has offered slugger Carlos Delgado a multiyear contract, the Miami Herald reported.

METS: Former Devil Rays infielder Miguel Cairo agreed to a one-year contract worth about $900,000.

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