In the latest release from Mr. Hainje and the Braves PR staff...
ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Chris Reitsma on a one-year contract for the 2006 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration. The club also announced that veteran outfielder Brian Jordan and catcher Eddie Perez have signed minor league contracts that include an invitation to attend Major League spring training. Financial terms of the three deals were not announced.
The 28-year-old Reitsma appeared in a team-high 76 games for the Braves in 2005, his second season in Atlanta and his fifth in the big leagues. He went 3-6 with a 3.93 ERA and led the staff with a career-high 15 saves. Reitsma allowed only three home runs in 73.1 innings pitched and his 0.37 home runs allowed per nine innings pitched ranked fourth in the National League.
Jordan, 38, has spent four of his 14 Major League seasons with the Braves. He batted .247 in 76 games for the Braves in 2005 and owns a .283 career batting average with 181 home runs. Jordan has been given a clean bill of health after having off-season arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
Perez, 37, has spent nine of his 11 Major League seasons with the Braves. Right shoulder tendonitis limited him to just 16 games in 2005, but he owns a career .253 batting average and has made seven postseason appearances (all with Atlanta).
It's becoming more and more apparent, at least to me, that Chris Reitsma will be given the chance to close again this season. I was tough on Chris this past season, especially during the playoffs. But, I'm willing to give a healthy Reitsma a chance. He'll have a better supporting cast of relievers, and his workload may be reduced. With few other options, I'm willing to remain positive going into the season with Reitsma getting the first crack.