The Texas Rangers acquired right-hander Brandon McCarthy from the Chicago White Sox in a five-player deal on Saturday.
The Rangers gave up 2003 first-round pick John Danks, a 21-year left-hander who hasn't yet pitched in the major leagues, and right-handers Nick Masset and Jacob Rasner in exchange for McCarthy and 18-year-old outfielder David Paisano.
Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels insisted the acquisition of McCarthy, a 23-year-old right-harder, wasn't directly related to the team's waning hopes of adding free agent pitcher Barry Zito.
"I don't want to get into specifics about our discussions other than to say that I'm not terribly encouraged about our chances," Daniels said on a conference call.
"Regardless of whether or not we felt we were going to be able to sign somebody like Barry, we would have made this deal. This is about the future with Brandon."
McCarthy already has 65 major league appearances (12 starts), and is 7-9 with a 4.39 earned-run average.
He has 117 career strikeouts while walking only 50 batters in 151 2/3 innings.
McCarthy worked primarily out of the bullpen for the first time last season, and was 10th in the American League with 75 1/3 innings worked in relief.
The Rangers plan to use him as a starter.
McCarthy, whose rights will be held by the Rangers for at least five years, will join a rotation with 16-game winner Kevin Millwood and 15-game winner Vicente Padilla, a veteran duo both signed through at least 2009. Robinson Tejeda, a 24-year-old right-hander, went 5-5 with 4.28 ERA in 14 starts last season.
"This gives us four starters that we feel very comfortable going into next year with," Daniels said.
Feds push to have reporters jailed
Government lawyers urged a federal appeals court to jail two newspaper reporters who refused to testify about who leaked them secret grand jury testimony from a steroids investigation.
In written arguments Friday, federal prosecutors told the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that San Francisco Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams should be imprisoned for up to 18 months for not revealing the source of the transcripts.
The prosecutors asked the San Francisco-based court to uphold a judge's contempt-of-court orders against Fainaru-Wada and Williams, arguing that reporters do not have special privileges that allow them to keep evidence from a grand jury.
Chronicle lawyers have argued that making journalists identify their sources would hurt their ability to report on government wrongdoing.
A federal judge held both reporters in contempt in September, sentencing them to 18 months in prison unless they reveal their sources. The newspaper was also held in contempt and fined $1,000 a day, but both penalties were suspended until the appellate court rules.
The appeals court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Former Olympic biathlon champion Myriam Bedard was in police custody in Maryland on a child abduction charge after U.S. marshals found the athlete and her daughter at a hotel on the girl's 12th birthday.
Bedard, 37, was taken into custody Friday night, said Michael Kulstad, a spokesman for the marshal service. Bedard is to appear Tuesday in federal court in Baltimore.
Bedard's daughter is in protective custody. Quebec City police spokeswoman Sandra Dion told the Canadian Press the daughter will be reunited soon in Quebec City with her father, Jean Pacquet.
Quebec City police swore out an arrest warrant against Bedard on Dec. 8 after her former husband said she had taken their daughter from Quebec City without his permission.
Bedard reportedly was traveling in the United States with her current husband, Nima Mazhari. Dion said the arrest warrant applied only to Bedard, not to Mazhari.
Mazhari has had his own legal trouble. He was charged in 2005 with theft and possession of about 20 stolen paintings worth $100,000.
Bedard won the 7.5-kilometer and 15-kilometer races at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics. She was a bronze medalist in the 15-K at the 1992 Albertville Olympics.
Vikings' Williams gets extension
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams has agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings.
Williams has five sacks and nine tackles for loss this season, teaming with fellow defensive tackle Pat Williams to anchor a defense that's giving up only 54.5 yards rushing a game, tops in the NFL.
Tampa Bay running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams won't play today against Cleveland because of a foot injury.
Williams, who has rushed for 798 yards and one touchdown, did not travel with the club. He was injured during the second half of last Sunday's 34-31 loss to Chicago and did not practice this week.
Sponsorship deal for the Big 'Cap
San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino has been named the presenting sponsor for the 2007 edition of the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, the richest race on Santa Anita's stakes calendar.
The Big 'Cap will be run for the 70th time on March 3.
This will be the first time the Santa Anita Handicap, which was inaugurated in 1935, will be run with sponsorship.
Additionally, San Manuel will be the title sponsor of the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf, which will be run as the premier event at Santa Anita on Sunshine Millions Day, Jan. 27.
Elli Ochowicz won the 500-meter and 1,000-meter races for the second day in a row at the U.S. Sprint Long Track Speedskating Championships at West Allis, Wis.