NEW YORK (AP) - Facing a Thursday deadline, lawyers neared an agreement that would lead to a meeting between Jason Giambi and steroids investigator George Mitchell.
Attorneys for Major League Baseball and the players' union negotiated for a third straight day Wednesday to work out a deal that would lead to Giambi becoming the first active player known to speak with Mitchell's staff, several people familiar with the talks said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
Several people said it was probable an agreement on rules for a Giambi-Mitchell meeting would be reached Thursday.
When he asked on June 6 for Giambi to meet with Mitchell, commissioner Bud Selig said he wanted the session to talk place within two weeks. Giambi's representatives later were told the deadline would be this Thursday and it would be only for an agreement to meet, not for the meeting itself.
Selig threatened Giambi with discipline, saying cooperation with Mitchell would be factored into his decision. Any penalty imposed by Selig would have a good chance of being overturned by an arbitrator, who would have to determine whether there was ``just cause.''
Giambi was quoted last month by USA Today as seeming to admit to steroids use several years ago and met five days later with management lawyers to discuss those comments.
The New York Yankees' designated hitter is on the disabled list with a foot injury and it is unclear when he'll be able to play again.

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