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Baseball Notes: Brewers, shortstop Alex Gonzalez agree to terms

The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to terms with free-agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez on Thursday, filling one of their biggest offseason needs.

The Milwaukee Brewers agreed to terms with free-agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez on Thursday, filling one of their biggest offseason needs.

Agent Eric Goldschmidt confirmed it to the Associated Press, saying that the Brewers' deal with Gonzalez is for one year with a vesting option. The team didn't immediately announce the deal, which was reported by Fox Sports earlier Thursday.

The 34-year-old Gonzalez played 149 games for the Atlanta Braves last season, hitting .241 with 15 home runs and 56 RBIs.

In another deal, righthander Aaron Harang agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 33-year-old right-hander was 14-7 with a career-low 3.64 ERA in 28 starts for San Diego last season.

Toronto second baseman Kelly Johnson will remain with the Blue Jays after accepting salary arbitration. The 29-year-old hit a combined .222 with 21 home runs and 58 RBIs with Arizona and Toronto last season.

The Chicago Cubs have acquired third baseman Ian Stewart and righthanded reliever Casey Weathers from the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Tyler Colvin and infielder D.J. LeMahieu.

Japan star on the market

Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish intends to make a move to Major League Baseball.

The 25-year-old righthander, considered the best pitcher in the Japanese professional leagues, wrote on his blog that he had decided to use the posting system, which allows MLB teams to bid for the negotiating rights to Japanese players who have yet to become free agents.

The 6-foot-5 Darvish, the son of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA this season for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. He had 276 strikeouts to lead the Pacific League. The Fighters had given him approval to negotiate with a major-league club through the posting system.

Clubs can submit sealed bids through next Wednesday for the right to negotiate with Darvish. If the Fighters accept the highest bid, the club that placed that bid will have 30 days to finalize a contract with him. If no deal is reached, he returns to the Fighters.

Cruz tops Rule 5 draft

The Houston Astros made pitcher Rhiner Cruz the top pick in the Rule 5 draft of players left off the 40-man rosters of major-league teams.

A total of 12 players were picked in the major-league portion of the draft, with teams paying $50,000 to claim them. A drafted player must stay on his new team's 25-man roster or be offered back to his original club for $25,000.

The New York Yankees drafted righthander Brad Meyers from the Washington Nationals system. They also acquired lefty Cesar Cabral from Kansas City for cash after the Royals drafted him from the Boston Red Sox.

The Atlanta Braves selected lefthanded reliever Robert Fish from the Los Angeles Angels.