The New York Yankees took a step toward filling their hole at third base Thursday by making a one-year, $12 million offer to free agent...

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Yankees offer Youkilis deal

The New York Yankees took a step toward filling their hole at third base Thursday by making a one-year, $12 million offer to free agent Kevin Youkilis.

A person with direct knowledge of the offer said there was a good chance that Youkilis would take it, but that he also could consider two-year deals elsewhere. The Cleveland Indians are said to be interested in signing Youkilis as their first baseman and reuniting him with their new manager, Terry Francona, who managed Youkilis in Boston.

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Youkilis was a three-time All-Star for the Red Sox, playing for their championship teams in 2004 and 2007 before a trade to the Chicago White Sox in June.

The Yankees have an opening at third base because Alex Rodriguez will soon undergo surgery on his left hip, a procedure expected to sideline him until June.

Youkilis, 33, won a Gold Glove at first base but played 111 games at third last season. He hit a career-low .235 with 19 homers and 60 runs batted in between Boston and Chicago last season.

In other moves, free-agent first baseman James Loney and the Tampa Bay Rays completed their $2 million, one-year contract.

Reliever Koji Uehara reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox.

The Minnesota Twins agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Jared Burton on a two-year, $5.5 million contract that includes a club option for the 2015 season.

Catcher Wil Nieves and the Arizona Diamondbacks completed their $800,000, one-year contract. Arizona also completed its one-year deal with utility man Eric Hinske.

Reed Johnson, the top pinch-hitter in the National League last season, rejoined the Atlanta Braves with a one-year contract that includes a club option for 2014.

Third baseman Ian Stewart said he is re-signing with the Chicago Cubs for one year at $2 million.

The Philadelphia Phillies filled their biggest need right before the winter meetings ended, acquiring center fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May.

Larsen uniform gets $756,000

The uniform Don Larsen was wearing when he pitched the only perfect game in World Series history sold for $756,000.

The former New York Yankees right-hander achieved perfection in Game 5 of the 1956 Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The pinstriped uniform with No. 18 on the back received 22 bids in an online auction on The winning bidder was Pete Siegel, CEO of


League rejects players’ offer

Instead of closing in on a deal, the NHL and the players union are further apart than ever before.

Union executive director Donald Fehr began the first of his two news conferences in New York City by proclaiming he believed the sides had agreements on such issues as actual dollars, and then returned moments later to reveal the NHL rejected everything his side offered.

Hot-button topics such as the “make-whole” provision on existing contracts not only weren’t settled, but are no longer being offered by the league. Forget that owners were willing to pay up to $300 million to cover the costs, now commissioner Gary Bettman is saying the entire concept is off the table — along with everything else the league proposed during the previous two days of talks.

“They knew there was a major gulf between us and yet they came down here and told you we were close,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

Fehr vehemently disputed that assessment and stuck to his opinion that the sides really aren’t far apart, saying they are “clearly very close if not on top of one another.”


Messi says knee feels better

Lionel Messi said his injured knee feels much better despite fearing the worst when he collided with the goalkeeper during a Champions League match against Benfica.

The Barcelona forward said he may miss Sunday’s league match at Real Betis, but had originally thought his career might be in jeopardy.

“I sincerely thought it was the last ball I would be touching for a long time because of the pain,” Messi said. “I tried to go ahead and shoot, but I didn’t have the strength.”


Clint Dempsey put Tottenham ahead in the 76th minute on a header that was later ruled an own goal and the Spurs reached the knockout stage of the Europa League with a 3-1 win over Panathinaikos.

• The New York Red Bulls acquired forward Josue Martinez and allocation money from the Philadelphia Union for forward Sebastien Le Toux, a former Sounders FC player.

• Colorado captain Pablo Mastroeni, 36, is returning to the Rapids for a 12th season in 2013.

• The Houston Dynamo said forward Calen Carr suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the MLS championship game and will need surgery.

• Australia’s John Senden shot a 6-under 66 in calm morning conditions at The Lakes in Sydney to take a two-stroke lead in the Australian Open.

• South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Thailand Golf Championship in Chon Buri.

• China’s Shanshan Feng opened a four-stroke lead in the Dubai Ladies Masters in United Arab Emirates, shooting a 7-under 65 in the second round.

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