Union approves dissolution step
NEW YORK — Locked-out NHL players have given the players association executive board the power to file a disclaimer of interest, a move that would dissolve the union.
Such a filing would let the union become a trade association. That would allow players to file antitrust lawsuits against the NHL as they tussle over a labor deal.
In balloting conducted this week, 706 players voted yes to giving the board such power, and 22 voted no, easily reaching the two-thirds majority necessary for approval, media reports said Friday. The union didn't officially announce the result, saying it wanted to keep voting internal.
The league said it had no comment.
The board has the power to file a disclaimer of interest until Jan. 2. Negotiations between the NHL and union have been at a standstill since talks ended Dec. 6. No talks are scheduled.
Report: Ex-Ray Kazmir gets deal with Indians
Former Rays All-Star pitcher Scott Kazmir signed a minor-league deal with the Indians, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Kazmir, 28, is attempting to revive his career, having drawn interest after a strong showing in the Puerto Rican Winter league.
Injuries and ineffectiveness led to Kazmir's release by the Angels in 2011, two years after they acquired him from the Rays for infielder Sean Rodriguez and pitchers Alex Torres and Matt Sweeney.
Unable to find a major-league home in 2012, Kazmir pitched for Sugar Land, Texas, of the independent Atlantic League, going 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA.
Brewers: Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny signed a two-year deal the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said is worth $5.7 million.
Pirates: Left-hander Francisco Liriano agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Twins: Right-hander Rich Harden signed a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training. He sat out this year after rotator cuff surgery Jan. 31 on his throwing shoulder.
tennis: After seven months off for left knee tendinitis, Rafael Nadal believes it may be some time before he is back in top form. He is set to play an exhibition Thursday. "I can only trust my doctors and believe in myself and that everything will be all right," he told France's Canal Plus TV. … Referee Lois Goodman, whose career was almost ended by a charge she murdered her husband with a coffee cup, was reinstated after dismissal of the charge for lack of evidence.
Soccer: The Iraqi Football Association denied media reports it was negotiating with Argentine great Diego Maradona to take over as national team coach.
Joe Smith, Times staff writer; Times wires