Braves close deal with closer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Braves close deal with closer

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves have avoided arbitration with

closer Mike Gonzalez by agreein to a $3.45 million, one-year

contract.

Gonzalez was successful in 14 of 16 save chances last year after

returning June 18 from elbow ligament-replacement surgery. He was

0-3 with a 4.28 ERA.

The 30-year-old, who made $2,362,500, converted 39 consecutive

saves before the streak ended Sept. 9.

Atlanta also announced its one-year agreement with outfielder

Matt Diaz. That deal, agreed to last week, is worth $1,237,500.

Three other Braves remain in arbitration: right fielder Jeff

Francoeur, second baseman Kelly Johnson and first baseman Casey

Kotchman.

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