Braves ink Diaz to one-year deal

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Matt Diaz.jpgMatt Diaz avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $2.55 million contract with the Braves, reports He earned $1.2375 million in 2009.

Diaz, who turns 32 in March, batted
.313/.390/.488 in ’09, establishing career-highs with 13 home runs and
58 RBI. Only six National League outfielders with at least 350 plate
appearances were better than his .878 OPS. He crushed left-handed
pitching to the tune of .412/.464/.640 with a 1.103 OPS in 136 at-bats.
It’s a mystery how Garret Anderson managed to get 100 more at-bats than

Though he’s a better weapon against
lefties, and still hasn’t found a stable position on the diamond, Diaz
has at least earned consideration for an every day job next season.

With Diaz resolved, the Braves’ only
remaining arbitration-eligible players are infielder Kelly Johnson,
left-hander Boone Logan and right-hander Peter Moylan.

Astros leave Chad Qualls off playoff roster, add Preston Tucker

Chad Qualls Getty
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Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.

Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.

Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.

Royals leave Jonny Gomes off playoff roster

Atlanta Braves outfielder Jonny Gomes, who was pitching in relief, tips his cap as New York Yankees' Chris Young rounds the bases after a solo home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.

First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.

It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.

Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.