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A-Rod’s hearing over; decision likely in Jan.

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POSTED November 22, 2013 12:30 a.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Rodriguez’s grievance hearing to overturn his 211-game suspension ended Thursday when both sides rested their cases, a day after the New York Yankees third baseman angrily walked out and decided not to testify in his own defense.

The sides set a schedule to file briefs and reply briefs next month, which will close the record and submit the matter to arbitrator Fredric Horowitz.

Royals reach $32 million, 4-year deal with Vargas:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals agreed to a $32 million, four-year contract with left-hander Jason Vargas on Thursday, trying to fill the void in their rotation created by Ervin Santana’s free agency.

Vargas was 9-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 24 starts for the Angels last season. He was 6-4 with a 3.65 ERA before going on the disabled list with a blood clot in his arm that required surgery.

Kansas City was searching for a veteran to replace Santana, another former Angels pitcher who rediscovered himself in Kansas City. Santana went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA last season, driving up his price in free agency to the point where the Royals are unlikely to sign him.

Fielder sees trade to Rangers as a fresh start: Prince Fielder could have vetoed the blockbuster swap of All-Star players that sent him to the Texas Rangers less than two years after signing his big deal with Detroit.

The slugging first baseman decided to take the fresh start with a new team.

“Obviously, it’s another good team, “ Fielder said Thursday, a day after being sent to Texas for second baseman Ian Kinsler. “I didn’t think it was going to be a bad thing and plus, most of all, I thought it was going to be good for everyone. I just wanted everyone to be happy.”

MLB players’ union head Michael Weiner dies at 51:

 NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Weiner, the plain-speaking, ever-positive labor lawyer who took over as head of the powerful baseball players’ union four years ago and smoothed its perennially contentious relationship with management, died Thursday, 15 months after announcing he had been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He was 51.

The Major League Baseball Players Association said Weiner died at his home in Mansfield Township, N.J.

“Michael Weiner worked even thru his sickness. He didn’t look at it as an excuse to quit,” tweeted Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen, the NL MVP. “He never gave up on us even when at his worst.”

As Weiner’s health deteriorated this summer, a succession plan was put in place. Former big league All-Star Tony Clark took over Thursday as acting executive director and is to be approved as Weiner’s successor when the union’s board meets from Dec. 2-5 at La Jolla, Calif.

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