Date is set for Barry Bonds' appeal hearing

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A federal appeals court will hear Barry Bonds’ appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction early next year.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday scheduled oral arguments for Feb. 13 before a three-judge panel in San Francisco.

The career home run leader was convicted in April 2011 of one felony obstruction count for giving an evasive, rambling reply during a 2003 grand jury appearance when asked whether he received drugs that required a syringe.

The jury deadlocked on three charges he made false statements, and prosecutors dropped those counts in August 2011.

U.S. District Judge Susan Ilston sentenced Bonds to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation, 250 hours of community service in youth-related activities and a $4,000 fine. She delayed imposing the sentence pending the appeal.

Bonds’ lawyers argue the answer was accurate and not meant to obstruct.

Bonds initially was charged in November 2007.

YANKEES: Ichiro Suzuki and New York are closing in on a contract that would guarantee the outfielder between $12 million and $13 million.

A person familiar with the negotiations said the agreement likely would be for a two-year deal.

RED SOX: Agreed to terms with right-hander Ryan Dempster on a two-year contract worth $26.5 million, two people familiar with the negotiations said.

Dempster, 12-8 with a 3.38 ERA last season, gives the Red Sox a reliable pitcher who has thrown more than 200 innings for four of the past five seasons. He was 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA with the Chicago Cubs this year before being traded to Texas. He was 7-3 with a 5.03 ERA for the Rangers.

GIANTS: Andres Torres is returning to San Francisco, which gave the outfielder his first chance as a regular two years ago.

Torres agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract with the reigning World Series champions. He must pass a physical to finalize the deal, Giants vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said.

Also Thursday, the Giants reached a minor league deal with right-hander Chad Gaudin, familiar with the Bay Area after pitching for Oakland from 2006 through part of the 2008 season and again for a short stint in 2010.

TWINS: Finalized a $10 million, two-year contract with right-hander Kevin Correia to fill a rotation spot after their starters posted the second-worst ERA in the majors last season.


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