Posts Tagged ‘Mark Bowman

10
Feb
10

Braves offer Damon one-year deferred contract

Will Johnny Damon sign with Atlanta?

It seems the Braves interest in Johnny Damon has increased.

According to an updated post on his blog, Atlanta Braves beat writer David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have made the free agent outfielder an initial one-year offer in recent days.

Reports have varied on how much the Braves offer is believed to be worth.

O’Brien writes the team offered approximately $4.5 million with a portion of money deferred while Mark Bowman of MLB.com’s sources tell him the contract’s total value is under $4 million, including the deferred money.

This development comes the day after Damon sent a text message to the AJC telling them of his hope that the Braves would make a competitive offer for his services and that they are a team that is on the top of his list.

Damon enjoyed one of his best seasons for the Yankees last year, when he posted a .282 batting average, .365 on-base percentage, and matched a career high 24 home runs.

The club apparently is bringing out the big guns in their last ditch effort to land Damon.

The Braves recruited Chipper Jones to contact Damon to sell him on coming to Atlanta.

Chipper wouldn’t confirm that to O’Brien but did list the benefits of acquiring a player of Damon’s caliber.

It is Chipper’s belief that Damon deepens the Braves roster from top and bottom and would give the team invaluable experience in the clubhouse.

If the Braves sign Damon, he would likely play left field for Atlanta and bat first or possibly second in their lineup.

The addition of another proven run producer like Damon would instantly improve Atlanta’s playoff chances this season while also alleviating the pressure on rookie Jason Heyward to make the club out of Spring Training.

If Heyward wins a spot, the Braves could opt to deal Melky Cabrera or Matt Diaz, or they could break camp with an extra outfielder.

While there is a mutual interest between both parties, Damon’s agent Scott Boras is still seeking a two-year contract for his client and claims one team has made such an offer but denies to name the club.

The Braves, Tigers, and Rays are the remaining teams left that have some interest in signing Damon.

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10
Dec
09

Braves deal Soriano to Tampa Bay for Chavez

New Braves reliever Jesse Chavez

While it wasn’t the return the Braves had hoped for in exchange for parting ways with their hard-throwing set-up man/closer Rafael Soriano, GM Frank Wren struck a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays late Wednesday night.

Atlanta will receive right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez in return for Soriano.

Chavez was 1-4 with a 4.01 ERA in a team-high 73 appearances for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Pittsburgh traded Chavez to Tampa Bay this November.

By offering Soriano arbitration, the Braves had hoped to receive a first-round draft pick as compensation for the right-hander.

However, Soriano’s decision to accept a non-guaranteed, one-year deal over testing the free agent waters in search of a more stable, long-term contract showed clubs were obviously reluctant to part with a high draft pick for Soriano’s services.

The Braves had already filled their set-up man and closer roles earlier this offseason with the signings of Takashi Saito and Billy Wagner.

Keeping Soriano was never an option for Atlanta as his projected $7 million salary next season would not have fit into the Braves’ budget plans.

A team with a sub-$100 million payroll can not afford to tie up approximately $20 million to its bullpen.

As a result, the Braves had little to no leverage in trade talks involving Soriano, and had made it known that they would be willing to accept a lesser return for monetary relief.

In the end, Atlanta accomplished its goal as reports have them not responsible for any of Soriano’s contract. This deal was strictly a player for player acquisition.

The completion of the Braves and Rays trade can now end initial speculation that the club would have had to pay a portion of Soriano’s salary to move him.

The trade will become official after both players pass physicals and the Rays are able to work out a contract with Soriano. That announcement could come as early as this afternoon.

FoxSports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the Rays and Soriano are nearing the completion of a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $7 million.

Atlanta would have received nothing for Soriano if they hadn’t offered him arbitration so they have no regrets that they did.

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman reports that Chavez, 26, provides a decent return for the club and says some scouts are high on his abilities, believing the hard-throwing righty could be a serviceable addition to Atlanta’s bullpen.

His fastball has been clocked as high as 98 MPH and he also throws a slider and a change-up.

In contrast last season, lefties hit .227 against him with righties tagging him for a .320 average.

Chavez’s change is his go-to pitch against left-handers and it could be assumed that manager Bobby Cox will use him as a specialist–in those situations–next season.




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