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M’s, Hernandez close in on deal

Baseball: Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are closing in on a five-year contract that would avoid arbitration and prevent him from becoming a free agent after the 2011 season, according to a person familiar with negotiations.

The person confirmed the progress of talks on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet finished. Hernandez is due in Seattle on Thursday for a physical needed to finalize the contract.

Seattle and representatives for the right-hander exchanged proposed arbitration figures – Hernandez asked for $11.5 million and the Mariners offered $7.2 million.

Hernandez was 19-5 last year, tied for the most wins in the major leagues, made his first All-Star team and had a career-high 217 strikeouts with a career-low 2.49 ERA.

Associated Press

Shrine Hall calls Walden

College football: Former East-West Shrine Game player and coach Jim Walden will be inducted into the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame during the Player Awards Banquet Friday at Orlando, Fla.

Walden, the former head coach at Washington State University, is one of four inductees in this year’s class. Others are: former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow, former NFL fullback Larry Csonka and 1946 EWSG player Dr. Jim Groh.

Walden, a quarterback at Wyoming, played in the 36th annual game in 1960 and was the head coach of the West Team in the 61st annual EWSG, held in 1985.

The game is Saturday at noon. ESPN2 will broadcast the game live.

Lincecum seeks record amount

Baseball: Two-time N.L. Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum asked for a record $13 million in salary arbitration, while the San Francisco Giants offered him $8 million.

Lincecum is seeking the richest contract awarded in arbitration. If Lincecum and the Giants don’t settle, an arbitration panel will hold a hearing next month and pick one of the salaries.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lincecum agreed to pay $513 to resolve marijuana charges against him in Washington state.

He originally faced two misdemeanor charges of marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession stemming from a traffic stop on Oct. 30.

Associated Press

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