Bonds tries to block testimony

Lawyers for Barry Bonds want to bar slugger Jason Giambi and other former pro athletes from testifying at his perjury trial scheduled to begin March 21 in San Francisco.

Bonds was charged with 11 counts of perjury and obstruction after telling a federal grand jury that he never knowingly took performance-enhancing drugs. Baseball’s career home run leader has pleaded not guilty.

Bonds’ lawyers filed papers in federal court in San Francisco late Friday asking U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston to prohibit the athletes’ testimony and other key evidence they say is tied to Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson. Illston already has ruled off-limits any evidence connected to Anderson because of his refusal to testify.

The former players with connections to Anderson they are hoping to exclude are Marvin Benard, Jeremy Giambi, Armando Rios, Benito Santiago, Randy Velarde and retired football player Larry Izzo.


Japanese batting champion Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Minnesota agreed to a $9.25 million, three-year contract.

The team will have a news conference today to introduce the 26-year-old Nishioka, who led the Pacific League with a .346 average last season.

Nishioka can play second base or shortstop.


A source said the Houston Astros have agreed to a one-year contract with free agent Bill Hall that guarantees the former Mariner $3.25 million.

Hall, who is likely to play second base for Houston, spent last season with Boston, hitting .247 with 18 homers and 46 RBI.

The utility player was traded to Seattle late in the 2009 season and he hit .200 in 34 games.


Arizona may have found its everyday left fielder – and a backup catcher, too.

Arizona agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Xavier Nady and catcher Henry Blanco, the two spots new general manager Kevin Towers needed to fill this offseason.


San Diego acquired shortstop Jason Bartlett in a trade with Tampa Bay and closed in on signing second baseman Orlando Hudson to an $11.5 million, two-year contract. … Left-handed pitcher Pedro Feliciano is moving across town from the New York Mets to the Yankees. … Pittsburgh lured free-agent right-hander Kevin Correia away from San Diego with a two-year contract worth $8 million.