01/18/08 6:06 PM ET
Notes: Club avoids arbitration with Diaz
Outfielder signs one-year deal; Soriano only unsigned player
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Braves general manager Frank Wren announced on Friday afternoon that Diaz has agreed to terms on a one-year contract. Financial terms weren't disclosed. Soriano now stands as the club's only unsigned, arbitration-eligible player.
All Major League teams exchanged figures with their unsigned arbitration-eligible players on Friday. The Braves are offering Soriano $2.4 million and he is seeking $3.4 million. In a career-high 71 appearances last year, the right-handed reliever posted a 3.00 ERA and converted nine of 12 save opportunities.
While there is $1 million separating Soriano's request and the Braves' offer, there's still seemingly a good chance an agreement could be made next week, or at least long before the issue would be brought in front of an arbitrator from Feb. 1-21.
Diaz, who has hit .333 while platooning in left field over the course of the past two seasons, made just $395,000 last year. He received arbitration-eligible status as a Super Two player. This means that his service time ranked among the top 17 percent of players who have at least two years of service and less than three.
The Braves announced on Thursday that they had avoided going to arbitration with Mark Teixeira, Mike Gonzalez, Omar Infante and Tyler Yates. Each of these players agreed to terms on one-year contracts.
Surgery completed: The Braves didn't encounter any surprises when Infante underwent surgery to repair his broken left hand in Atlanta on Friday. All indications are that he'll likely be sidelined until the final week of March. This obviously creates the possibility that the veteran utility player could begin the season on the disabled list.
Infante was evaluated by Dr. Gary Lourie before undergoing the surgical procedure, during which a pin was placed in his hand. He'll wear a cast for the next four to six weeks.
Infante, who fractured the hand when he was hit with a pitch last week in the Venezuelan Winter League, was targeted to be a super-utility player, who could provide assistance if necessary in the outfield. If he's not ready to begin the season, that versatile role could be assumed by Brent Lillibridge.
400 Club dinner set: The Braves 400 Club will host the 42nd Eddie Glennon Gameboree on Feb. 2 at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center. This year's event, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, will celebrate TBS's 30-year affiliation with the Braves.
Longtime Braves announcer Pete Van Wieren will emcee the event, and two of his broadcasting partners, both Skip Caray and Chip Caray, are scheduled to attend. Phil Niekro and Rick Camp, two of the former players who were around for TBS's early years with the Braves, are also expected to participate in this celebration.
Triple-A manager Dave Brundage, left-handed starter Jo-Jo Reyes and centerfielder Jordan Schafer have also accepted invitations to attend this event. Tickets are available for $65 at braves400.org or by mailing a check to the Braves 400 Club, P.O. Box 7689, Atlanta, Ga. 30309.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.