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Bah. Sam gets the news item while my submission is cruelly ignored. Racism!
(*)the only closer they've ever paid any real money to was John Smoltz, and he signed that contract when he was a starter.
EDIT: Plus, signing a big long-term contract might actually cause Julio to express an emotion.
Smoltz signed that contract in the 2001-02 offseason, after he'd started to close for the Braves.
This is a fabulous deal for the Braves... heck the bigger concern probably ought to be why was Teheran so eager to sign this?
I think they see Ryan Butcher as the next guy up for the closers job in ATL.
How different is that from what he would get going year-to-year? There's potentially some substantial savings in the free agent years, but there's also the risk he pulls a Ricky Romero.
"It gets us through his first couple of free-agent years. Again, (the goal is to) hold onto our young players, and again a lot of this is the product of having the opportunity to move into Cobb County and into a new ballpark and hopefully an area that allows us to stay competitive for the long term."
You don't see pitcher buyouts this early -- at least not that I recall. The A's did this with Mulder and Zito (and Hudson to a lesser extent I think).
When's the last time a team did that?
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