Four Atlanta Braves file for Free Agency

The Atlanta Braves had four of five eligible players file for free agency yesterday. First baseman Adam LaRoche, outfielder Garret Anderson, pinch hitter Greg Norton, and reliever Mike Gonzalez all filed for free agency, leaving only reliever Rafael Soriano yet to file.

The two relievers, Gonzalez and Soriano, are both type-A free agents, meaning the Braves would receive two first round draft picks (1 and 1S) is they offered either arbitration and they signed elsewhere. Because they are expected to draw interest from several teams, the Braves will likely offer arbitration to both players, though they may only seek to actually try and re-sign Gonzalez, seeing him as the less costly of the two.

LaRoche and Anderson are both type-B free agents, and Atlanta would receive only one first round (supplemental) draft pick as compensation were they to be offered arbitration and sign elsewhere. It depends on how the Braves plan to approach this off-season and the stated goal of adding right-handed power bat as to whether they will offer LaRoche arbitration.

For the record, I'd like to see the Braves offer Gonzo, Soriano, and LaRoche all arbitration. If they did sign elsewhere with teams that had one of the 15-best records in baseball last year then the Braves could find themselves with 3 first round draft picks and 3 supplemental first round picks -- possibly 6 of the first 50 selections in the draft. By having extra picks, the Braves may also be less fearful about going after other type-A free agents and losing their own first round pick.

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