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New deals for Victorino, Haren, Soria...Razorbacks hire Bielema...Lakers minus Gasol

Tuesday - 12/4/2012, 8:40pm  ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press the Boston Red Sox and outfielder Shane Victorino are close to finalizing a three-year deal worth $39 million. Victorino stole a career-high 39 bases but hit only .255 with 11 homers and 55 RBIs for the Phillies and Dodgers last season. The 32-year-old Victorino is a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Washington Nationals are close to adding another starting pitcher to a rotation that already includes Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann. A person with knowledge of the talks tells The Associated Press the Nats and free-agent pitcher Dan Haren are nearing completion of a one-year, $13 million deal. Haren was 12-13 with a 4.33 ERA in 30 starts and 176 2-3 innings for the Los Angeles Angels this year, one season after winning a career-high 16 games.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Texas Rangers and injured closer Joakim Soria have worked out a two-year, $8 million contract with a club option for 2015. The two-time All-Star with Kansas City is recovering from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of last season. He had a career-high 43 saves with the Royals in 2010 and was 5-5 with 28 saves and a 4.03 ERA the following season.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- Head football coach Bret Bielema (BEE'-leh-muh) is leaving Wisconsin to take over Arkansas' program, according to a person familiar with the matter. Bielema is 68-24 in seven seasons with the Badgers after replacing Barry Alvarez, leading the team to four 10-win campaigns. Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long tweeted that an announcement was planned for this evening.

HOUSTON (AP) -- Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol is missing tonight's game at Houston because of tendinitis in both knees. Gasol has dealt with the condition since training camp and says it hasn't "really improved" since then, prompting the Lakers to rule him out and list him as day-to-day. Gasol is averaging 12.6 points and 8.8 rebounds this season.

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