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Peep Show

American League

Helling Helling

Minnesota Twins: There goes that part of the rotation
-- at least for a while. Rick Helling, slated to be the
Twins' fifth starter this year, will be out until May
with a broken leg reports La Velle E. Neal III of the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Nobody thought much about
the liner by Shawn Wooten that smacked off of
Helling's leg in Saturday's game against Philadelphia.
Sure enough, though, x-rays revealed a crack in the
fibula. Helling spent last year with the Orioles and
Marlins. He pitched nearly as much in the postseason
for Florida (8 2/3) as he did in the regular season
(16 2/3). Neal writes that possible replacements
include journeyman Joe Roa (on his twelfth
organization) and Grant Balfour, a journeyman of a
different sort, having grown up in Australia. He adds
that a trade to fill the temporary opening is
unlikely.

New York Yankees: Negotiations continue with Mariano
Rivera on a contract extension. Not wanting the
distraction once the season starts, Rivera set a
deadline of Opening Day to get the deal done. The two
sides have agreed to this much: two years with a third
year option. George King of the New York Post reports
that the Yankees have made what they hope will be
their final offer. "The ball is in their court," said
general manager Brian Cashman, referring to Rivera and
his agent, Fernando Cuza. "He said he would get back
to me (today). I feel very comfortable with the offer
we put out." Rivera has been money for the Yankees
since becoming their closer in 1997.