Ten Braves were among the 137 major leaguer players who became free agents on Monday, the day after the World Series ended. The Braves had the most free agents in the National League and were second in the majors behind the Yankees’ 12.
Free agents can negotiate and sign with any club beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.
For the Braves, the free-agent list included Jeff Baker, Miguel Batista, Michael Bourn, Matt Diaz, Chad Durbin, Eric Hinske, Reed Johnson, Lyle Overbay, David Ross and Ben Sheets, who announced he was retiring at the end of the 2012 season.
The Braves are expected to re-sign backup catcher Ross, and also are believed to have interest in bringing back reliever Durbin and outfielder Johnson. The Braves have said since the beginning of the 2012 season that they’d like to re-sign Bourn, but the center fielder and leadoff man, who is represented by powerful agent Scott Boras, could be deemed too expensive by the Braves.
In addition, four other Braves are eligible for free agency pending 2013 options on their contracts: Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Brian McCann and Chipper Jones, who has retired. The Braves have until Wednesday to decline or exercise those options.
The Braves are expected to pick up the options on starting pitchers Hudson ($9 million) and Maholm ($6.5 million), while the status of former six-time All-Star catcher McCann is uncertain. The team holds a $12 million option on the contract of McCann, who had shoulder surgery after the season and is expected to miss at least the first month of the 2013 season.
Before he got hurt this summer, it was viewed as all but a foregone conclusion the Braves would exercise the 2013 option on McCann, then decide later whether to pursue a long-term extension. But the surgery to repair a torn labrum seems to have complicated the issue in regards to the 2013 option, and team officials have not commented on his status since the surgery.
Gold Glove award finalists
Bourn is one of four Braves finalists for National League Gold Glove Awards, along with right fielder Jason Heyward, first baseman Freddie Freeman and Martin Prado, who played five different positions in 2012 but was nominated at left field, where he made 111 starts.
Winners will be announced during a 9:30 p.m. show Tuesday on ESPN2. There were three finalists at each position except shortstop, where four were named.
Heyward already win the 2012 Fielding Bible Award recognizing him as the best defensive right fielder in the major leagues based on statistical analysis. He’s up against Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Andre Ethier for the Gold Glove, as selected through voting by major league managers and coaches.
Cincinnati led the majors with six finalists, while the Braves were second in the NL with four.