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Sports news briefs — Dec. 19

Compiled from wire reports

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White Sox working 
to upgrade pitching

• The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Ronald Belisario and are closing in on a $4 million, one-year deal with pitcher Scott Downs.

Chicago announced the agreement with Belisario on Thursday. The talks with Downs were revealed by a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

The 30-year-old Belisario was 5-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 77 games with the Dodgers last season and 20-12 with a 3.29 ERA over four years. He became a free agent when Los Angeles failed to offer a contract by the Dec. 2 deadline.

Belisario is scheduled to be eligible for arbitration after the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Downs was 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA in 68 games last season for the Los Angeles Angels and Atlanta Braves. The 37-year-old left-hander is 38-36 with a 3.48 ERA over 564 career appearances.

• The Oakland Athletics acquired outfielder Corey Brown from the Washington Nationals for cash. Brown has played in 36 major league games in parts of three seasons, batting .175 with two homers and four RBI.

• Slugging outfielder Carlos Beltran, 36, and the New York Yankees finalized a $45 million, three-year contract. The eight-time All-Star is to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium conference today.

college sports

Injured Baylor player set for Fiesta Bowl

• Baylor receiver Tevin Reese is getting the cast off his right wrist and expects to play for the No. 6 Bears in the Fiesta Bowl. Reese dislocated his wrist when he came down awkwardly in the first half Nov. 7 against Oklahoma.

• Alabama suspended backup linebacker Xzavier Dickson and freshman tailback Alvin Kamara. Neither will play in the Sugar Bowl against No. 11 Oklahoma on Jan. 2. Coach Nick Saban didn’t give a reason for the suspensions.

• Indianapolis philanthropist Cindy Simon Skjodt donated $40 million to Indiana University to renovate Assembly Hall.


Spain gets No. 1 spot in FIFA rankings

• Spain is at the top of the year-end FIFA rankings for the sixth consecutive year. The reigning world and European champions were No. 1 for the 28th consecutive month in the December rankings released Thursday. Germany was second in an unchanged top 10, followed by Argentina, Colombia, Portugal, Uruguay, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Brazil. The United States stayed 14th.

• FIFA President Sepp Blatter says vanishing spray will be used to mark distances for free kicks at the World Cup in Brazil. The referee uses the spray to mark the line where players can set up their defensive wall before a free kick.

• Brazilian authorities say they have detained 19 people for their alleged involvement in fan violence that marked the final round of the Brazilian league this month.

• The Seattle Sounders and forward Kenny Cooper reached a contract agreement for the 2014 season.

other sports

Celtics owners enter Formula E series

• Boston Celtics managing partner Wyc Grousbeck and a dozen of his co-owners in the NBA franchise have invested $21 million into Formula E, an all-electric circuit that has already attracted celebrities with environmental interests such as actor Leonardo DiCaprio and billionaire Richard Branson.

• Olympic champion rower Nathan Cohen of New Zealand retired after being diagnosed with a serious heart ailment. He won in double sculls in the London Summer Games.

— From wire reports

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