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Sports in Brief: Rangers land Japan's Darvish

After losing a pair of aces in the last two years, the Texas Rangers are going global to land a new one.

After losing a pair of aces in the last two years, the Texas Rangers are going global to land a new one.

Winner of consecutive AL pennants, Texas also won the Yu Darvish sweepstakes Monday night with a record bid of $51.7 million. Now, the Rangers get 30 days to negotiate a contract with Darvish that would put Japan's best pitcher at the top of their rotation.

"Obviously, it's a very exciting night for our organization, our fans and our community," general manager Jon Daniels said on a conference call.

The Tampa Bay Rays have re-signed righthanded reliever Joel Peralta to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

Outfielder Michael Cuddyer and the Colorado Rockies finalized a $31.5 million, three-year contract.

Free-agent outfielder Endy Chavez agreed to a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

AWARDS: Abby Wambach, whose thunderous header in the final seconds of the Women's World Cup quarterfinals led the United States to an improbable victory and sparked a nationwide frenzy rarely seen for women's sports, has been voted the 2011 female athletic of the year.

The 31-year-old forward won the award by receiving 65 of the 214 votes cast by members of the Associated Press. Teammate Hope Solo (38 votes) was a distant second and UConn basketball player Maya Moore (35) was third.

NBA: Chris Paul's debut with the Los Angeles Clippers was the most-watched preseason game in NBA TV history. The Clippers' 114-95 victory over the Lakers on Monday night drew 509,000 viewers. The previous record of 501,000 viewers came when the Miami Heat beat Detroit on Oct. 10, 2010, in their first game with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that reigning MVP Derrick Rose agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Chicago Bulls worth approximately $94 million.

Boston forward Paul Pierce, who suffered a bruised heel during the Celtics' first full-squad practice on Dec. 9, will not play in Wednesday's exhibition finale against Toronto, reported.

SKIING: Mikael Kingsbury of Canada and American Hannah Kearney extended their perfect start in World Cup freestyle skiing by winning dual moguls events in Meribel, France.

American skier Sho Kashima defeated compatriot Jeremy Cota in the consolation run to take third place in the men's competition and American skier Heather McPhie finished third.

Marlies Schild of Austria completed a hat trick of slalom victories by winning a World Cup night race in Flachau, Austria. American Lindsey Vonn finished eighth to retain her lead in the overall standings.

GOLF: American teen star Lexi Thompson and U.S. Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu will play in the Australian Women's Masters in February.

AUTO RACING: A.J. Foyt has hired IndyCar veteran Mike Conway to drive the No. 14 car in 2012. He will replace Brazil's Vitor Meira.

SOCCER: David Beckham is set to sign an 18-month deal with French club Paris Saint-Germain, according to the Paris news media. His management group calls it "premature."

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined $62,000 after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United's black defender Patrice Evra.

JURISPRUDENCE: Officials said boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. will plead guilty in Las Vegas to reduced charges in a plea deal settling felony allegations that he battered his ex-girlfriend and a misdemeanor charge that he poked a security guard. - Associated Press