Federal prosecutors dropped four counts of lying to a grand jury against Barry Bonds, leaving him to face trial next year on 10 counts of making false statements, plus an additional obstruction-of-justice charge.
Bonds faces the same potential sentence range - probation to roughly 2 years in prison - if convicted. His trial is scheduled to begin March 2.
Yesterday's indictment, the third against the home-run king, came in response to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston's decision last week ordering prosecutors to again rewrite the technically faulty indictment.
Bonds originally was charged in November 2007 with four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. After a motion by his lawyers to dismiss the case, Illston ordered prosecutors to rewrite the indictment because multiple alleged lies were lumped into single charges.
* The St. Louis Cardinals addressed another major offseason concern, taking advantage of the San Diego Padres' sell-off mode by acquiring shortstop Khalil Greene for minor leaguers.
The Padres get minor league righthander Mark Worrell and a prospect to be named from a pool of three players, two pitchers and one position player. General manager Kevin Towers said the team has until April 1 to make its selection and hinted he might want to take another look in spring training before deciding.
The 29-year-old Greene hit just .213 with 10 home runs last year, and struck out 100 times in 105 games. But in 2007, he had 27 homers, 44 doubles and 97 RBI.
* The Los Angeles Dodgers have been involved in extensive talks this week about acquiring longtime Pittsburgh shortstop Jack Wilson, with one hang-up being his $7.25 million salary for next season, a person familiar with the talks told the Associated Press.
* Baseball salaries started to slow this year even before the economy nosedived. The average salary in Major League Baseball this season was $2.93 million, the players association said in its annual report. The 3.6 percent increase was the smallest since 2004, when the average declined 2.5 percent from the previous season.
At $6.86 million per player, the New York Yankees topped the major leagues in average salary for the 10th consecutive season despite a disappointing year in which their streak of postseason appearances ended at 13.
The Phillies, who won their first World Series title since 1980, were 11th at $3.39 million.
* The Braves and Chicago White Sox completed a trade that sends righthander Javier Vazquez to Atlanta.
Lefthanded reliever Boone Logan also went to the Braves as part of the swap, while the White Sox acquired four prospects: catcher Tyler Flowers, infielders Jonathan Gilmore and Brent Lillibridge and lefthanded pitcher Santos Rodriguez.
* Shortstop Edgar Renteria signed a 2-year, $18.5 million free-agent deal to become San Francisco's shortstop. *