Braves Sign Matt Diaz, Others

Kudos to the Atlanta Braves for getting one of their arbitration eligible players signed already for next year -- something that can usually drag on into spring training. Matt Diaz agreed to a one-year $2.55 million deal in the last 24 hours, that's a raise of over $1 million from last year's salary of $1.237 million.

That leaves three players who remain unsigned by the Braves; second baseman Kelly Johnson, and relievers Peter Moylan and Boone Logan. Midnight tonight is the deadline for the Braves to offer them a contract. That doesn't mean they have to come to terms, they simply have to be tendered a contract for 2010. The Braves are expected to face a tough decision on Kelly Johnson, who is likely to make around $4 million and may not have a starting role.

I got an email from a reader alerting me to several minor league signings as well as international signings by the Braves. I'm trying to get them to source this information, so until then consider it as unsourced:

Minor League signings not posted on site yet: Mariano Gomez LHP, Gerardo Avila 1B, Luis Bolivar 3B, Eric Duncan 3B, Mauro Gomez 1B, Brent Clevlen OF, Mitch Jones OF, Juan Gonzalez OF

International Signings to date:
Mexico - Daniel Castro (ss), Javier Morales (rhp)
Panama - Abraham Espinosa (rhp), Luis Madrid (ss)
Venezuela - Erick Maldonado (of), Jesus Saldeno (rhp), Elias Valdez (lhp)
Nicaragua - Enrique Medina (lhp), Elieser Salmeron (of)
Dominican - Emmanuel Daniel (of)
Spain - Alejandro Martinez (ss)

Current players expected to receive visas from DSL: Juan Flores OF Victor Cadette RHP Luis de Luna RHP Amilcar Gaxiola LHP Andy Otero LHP Jorge Paulino RHP Williams Perez RHP Alexis Pinto LHP Ernesto Silva RHP Erick Epifano IF Omar Llapur 1B Edison Sanchez 3B

No, that is not the Juan Gonzalez, I believe he's an outfielder of the same name who played last with the St. Louis organization. 

The reader also passed along this article on our baseball academy in Tenerife.

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