Sports briefs 1/5/04

Monday, January 5, 2004

Baseball

  • Javier Vazquez and the New York Yankees were close to agreement Sunday on a $45 million, four-year contract. The 27-year-old right-hander, acquired from Montreal on Dec. 4, is eligible for free agency after next season, and the Yankees wanted a multiyear contract. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Vazquez's agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, were working Sunday on finalizing the deal.

    Basketball

  • Lakers star Shaquille O'Neal sat out Sunday night's game against the Clippers because of a strained right calf, and Karl Malone was placed on the injured list for the first time in his career. O'Neal left Friday night's 111-109 loss at Seattle in the second quarter because of the injury and did not return. Lakers coach Phil Jackson said a decision will be made today as to whether O'Neal will travel for games at Minnesota and Denver on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

    Malone must miss those games, as well as home games against Atlanta on Friday night and Cleveland on Monday night, making it a minimum of nine he sits out due to a sprained ligament in his right knee.

    --From wire reports

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