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Fri., Nov. 30, 2012

Finalized Free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves have finalized a $75.25 million, five-year contract. Upton joins the Braves after spending his first eight MLB seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .246 with 28 homers, 78 RBIs and 31 steals this year. Upton replaces free agent Michael Bourn in center field.

Ryan Madson finalized a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels, who believe the right-handed reliever will make a strong comeback from elbow ligament replacement surgery. In addition to his base salary, Madson can earn $3.5 million in roster and performance bonuses with the Angels.

Agreed One of college football’s greatest rivalries will be renewed for two seasons when Nebraska and Oklahoma play in 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in 2022 in Lincoln, Neb. The teams played 71 straight seasons as conference foes.

• The New York Yankees agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract with closer Mariano Rivera.

• Right-hander Felipe Paulino and the Kansas City Royals agreed to a $1.75 million contract that avoided salary arbitration, a cut of $150,000.

• The Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a $17 million, two-year contract with free-agent catcher Russell Martin.

Awarded San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski was voted Major League Soccer’s MVP after scoring 27 goals to tie the season record set by Tampa Bay’s Roy Lassiter in 1996. The 29-year-old received 91 percent of MLS club management votes, 97 percent of media votes and 71 percent of player votes.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has tied Bill Elliott’s record of 10 consecutive wins as NASCAR’s most popular driver. Earnhardt won the annual award, presented the National Motorsports Press Association, after more than 934,000 fan votes were cast. Earnhardt beat Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart.

Acquired The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Denard Span from the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer, giving the reigning National League East champs a leadoff hitter and center fielder. The acquisition of Span allows the Nationals potentially to move 20- year-old Bryce Harper to left field, with Jayson Werth staying in right.

Diagnosed Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The National Hockey League team confirmed that Harding is undergoing treatment for the disease, which attacks the body’s immune system and affects the central nervous system. Harding signed a three-year, $5.7 million contract this summer.


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