If Alex Gonzalez returns to the Braves it will be because of his glove, not his bat. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Today the Atlanta Braves announce they have declined to offer Alex Gonzalez arbitration. Gonzalez, the team's starting shortstop for the last year and a half, was a Type B free agent and could have netted the Braves a supplemental draft pick as compensation had they offered him arbitration and he signed with a new team. The decision was financially driven however, as Gonzalez likely would have received a substantial raise over his 2.5 million dollar 2011 salary through the arbitration process. The team is still able to negotiate with him and his chances of returning for 2012 have neither improved nor diminished with this transaction. 2011 was Gonzalez's 13th season in the Major Leagues, and one of his worst offensively, as he hit just .241 with a .642 OPS, 27 doubles, 15 homers, and 56 RBI, though he was outstanding in the field.