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Sports in brief: Seattle closes in on Gutierrez pact

Baseball: The Seattle Mariners moved closer Tuesday to solidifying their center-field defense the next four years, and also appeared on the verge of filling their void at first base for 2010.

The Mariners were finalizing details on a four-year, $20.5 million contract extension with center fielder Franklin Gutierrez.

Numerous reports also said the Mariners were close to acquiring left-handed-hitting first baseman Casey Kotchman from the Boston Red Sox. Both and the Boston Globe reported that the Mariners would send utility player Bill Hall, cash and possibly a minor-league player to the Red Sox.

Meanwhile, a person familiar with the negotiations said third baseman Adrian Beltre and the Red Sox have reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract.

Beltre, who played the last five seasons with Seattle, would be guaranteed $10 million, another person said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal was not final.

From wire reports

Poling leaves Zags basketball

College basketball: Gonzaga redshirt freshman forward Andy Poling has decided to transfer, Poling’s mother, Jenny, confirmed.

The 6-foot-11, 230-pound Poling played 23 minutes in six games. He was seeing limited minutes behind Rob Sacre, Elias Harris, Will Foster, Kelly Olynyk and Bol Kong.

It was mainly a playing time issue.

“He thought he’d get more playing time than he did,” Jenny said. “He wants to go where he’ll play more.”

Poling was en route from Spokane to his hometown of Portland. If he enrolls at a different school, which he’ll likely do within the next week, he’ll be eligible next January and he would have 21/2 years of eligibility remaining. Portland State appears to be the most likely spot for Poling.

•GU senior guard Matt Bouldin has been named one of 20 finalists for the 2010 Bob Cousy Award given to college basketball’s top point guard.

WSU game moved to 11:30

College basketball: The starting time for Sunday’s Washington State men’s basketball game at Arizona State has been moved from 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. to eliminate a time conflict with the NFL playoff game in Arizona at 1:30.

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Swedish Thoracic Surgery: Partners in patient care

 (Courtesy Bergman Draper Oslund Udo)

Matt Bergman knows the pain and anger that patients with mesothelioma feel.