LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Eric Hinske drew attractive offers from a couple of other clubs. But none were as appealing as the opportunity to return to Atlanta to rekindle the bond created with many of his Braves teammates last year.
"I'm very happy," Hinske said. "I had a lot of other offers. Teams were interested. But I wanted to come back here. I had a great time here last year. We've got a great thing going in the clubhouse. Everybody is close. This is a tight-knit group. My heart was here, for sure."
Recognizing the value Hinske brought their clubhouse and bench last year, the Braves gave the veteran utility man a one-year, $1.35 million contract that includes a $1.5 million option for 2012.
While Hinske was hoping for a two-year deal, he's happy that for the first time since 2006, he has come to Spring Training with the same club that he played for the previous season.
Brian McCann and Tim Hudson were among those who stayed in contact with Hinske and lobbied for the Braves to bring him back.
"I heard what they were saying, and it definitely makes you feel good. It makes you feel welcome or wanted," Hinske said.
Hinske hit .256 with 11 homers in 281 at-bats last year. This year, the 33-year-old veteran will serve as a pinch-hitter and see time in left field and at first base.
Fredi voices concern for Tigers' Cabrera
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was saddened Thursday morning when he was informed Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera had been arrested for driving under the influence in Ft. Pierce, Fla.
Gonzalez served as Cabrera's manager when they were with the Marlins in 2007.
"He's a tremendous human being," Gonzalez said. "He really is. I'm pulling for him. We all know about his numbers as a baseball player. But as a person and human being, he's a quality guy. If he does have a disease, he needs to take care of that."
According to an arrest report published by the Treasure Coast Newspapers, a St. Lucie County police officer stopped Cabrera at 11 p.m. ET. The Tigers first baseman reportedly smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech. In addition, the sheriff's office reported he took a drink from a bottle of scotch after being pulled over.
"He needs to take care of that, because it's going to end bad," Gonzalez said.
Cabrera agreed to undergo counseling after an alleged October 2009 incident with his wife led him to spend a night in a suburban Detroit jail. No charges were filed, but he was held after registering a .26 on a breathalyzer exam.
"I would tell him he needs to take care of it," Gonzalez said. "Whatever it takes -- even if it takes taking a year off."
Chipper Jones, Brian McCann and Adam LaRoche teamed up for a round of golf against John Smoltz earlier this week. MLB Network will air the round at a later date. ... All position players are required to report to camp Friday. As of Thursday, shortstop Alex Gonzalez was the only position player who had not reported. ... Non-roster left-hander Yohan Flande's arrival in camp has been delayed by visa problems. ... Because of physicals, the workouts scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will begin at 1 p.m. ET.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.