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This Day in Braves History: December 17
1995 - Atlanta trades left-hander Kent Mercker to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Joe Borowski and Chaad Stewart. Mercker went 31-25 with a 3.49 ERA in 515 2/3 innings in seven seasons with Atlanta. He would return to the Braves in 2003.
2002 - The Braves acquire Russ Ortiz from the Giants in exchange for left-hander Damian Moss and minor leaguer Manuel Mateo. Ortiz would go 21-7 in 2003 while posting a 3.81 ERA and a 4.17 FIP. He also led the league with 102 walks in 212 1/3 innings. He would throw 204 more innings for the Braves in 2004 before signing as a free agent with the Diamondbacks that offseason.
2002 - Atlanta signs right-hander Paul Byrd to a two-year deal. Byrd would make 19 starts for the Braves in 2004 going 8-7 with a 3.94 ERA. He is currently part of the team’s broadcast booth serving as an on field reporter.
2003 - Gary Sheffield agrees to a three-year, $39 million deal with the New York Yankees that also includes a $13 million option for a fourth year. Sheffield spent the previous two seasons in Atlanta where he hit .319/.412/.562 with 64 home runs combined.