CHOP SHOP: Braves bring back the gang for 2012

The Atlanta Braves made several moves last week, locking in all of their arbitration-eligible players for another crack at the playoffs. After agreeing to terms with Martin Prado and Jack Wilson on one-year deals, the team inked Eric O’Flaherty, Jair Jurrjens and Michael Bourn. The team also signed reliever Peter Moylan to a one-year, incentive-laden deal to avoid arbitration. Bourn, who will likely command big dollars following the 2012 season, was signed to a reported $6.845M deal.

The Braves acquired Bourn before the 2011 trading deadline for a handful of minor league pitchers and Jordan Schafer. He will hit leadoff and could provide Atlanta with speed on the base paths as well as a strong outfield glove. Bourn stole 22 bases in 29 chances with Atlanta last year and finished with 61, tops in the National League.

Jurrjens, meanwhile, will make $5.5M this year with another $150,000 available in incentives. Jurrjens began last year 12-3 but finished just 13-6 while missing most of August and September.

THE BULLPEN

O’Flaherty and Moylan will both be back, which should help bridge the gap between the starters and closer Craig Kimbrel. O’Flaherty received a healthy raise to $2.49M this year, and the Braves control him for one more arbitration-eligible season in 2013. Moylan, meanwhile, was not tendered a contract immediately following the season but instead signed to a minor league deal. Moylan is recovering from arthroscopic surgery in September and hopes to be ready by spring training. His deal is worth $1M on a prorated basis for time in the majors, plus incentives.

THE BENCH

Wilson appeared in 17 games with Atlanta, contributing just nine hits in 41 at-bats. He was acquired from Seattle, whom he had played for since 2009. Wilson hit .243 while making 61 starts one year ago. Former Brave Mark DeRosa agreed to a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals several weeks ago, eliminating a potential return for the once-popular Braves utility man. Also, the Baltimore Orioles signed Wilson Betemit to a two-year/$3.25M deal, though that contract was signed after Wilson re-upped with Atlanta. Betemit hit .285 with eight home runs and 46 RBIs in 97 games between Kansas City and Detroit last year. He is a career .269 hitter.

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