General manager Frank Wren said the Braves have made an offer to free-agent outfielder Eric Hinske, but have not decided whether to tender a contract to arbitration-eligible outfielder Matt Diaz.
Hinske signed a one-year, $1 million contract with Atlanta last winter and hit .256 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs, including three pinch-hit homers. He was lauded by teammates for his leadership and role in the Braves’ strong clubhouse chemistry.
The offer for 2011 is believed to be for a similar amount, and it’s unclear whether Hinske will accept it, or wait to see if the Braves increase the offer or other teams better it.
Diaz is a popular Brave who hits well against left-handers, including .273 with an .830 OPS in 2010, and .369 with a .975 OPS from 2007-2009. But he doesn’t have the versatility of recently acquired corner outfielder/infielder Joe Mather.
After making $2.5 million last season, Diaz isn’t expected to get an arbitration offer from the Braves. He wants to stay with the Braves and has indicated he’d skip arbitration and accept a salary similar to what he made last season.