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 MLB.com. 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
Diaz.




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.

Ichiro Suzuki tops Rickey Henderson as the oldest starting center fielder

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Marlins’ outfielder Ichiro Suzuki set a new record for the club on Sunday afternoon, and all he had to do was take the field. The 43-year-old made his second start of the year in center field, becoming the oldest starting center fielder in Major League Baseball since 1900.

Suzuki made his first start in center field back on May 6, but came 15 days shy of beating the record Rickey Henderson established in 2002 when he patrolled center field at a sprightly 43 years and 211 days old. During Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs, Suzuki’s 43 years and 246 days set a new record for aging outfielders.

Naturally, Ichiro commemorated his moment in history by doing what he does best — proving that age is just a number. He reached on a fielding error by Addison Russell in the first inning and came home to score on a Marcell Ozuna RBI single to pad the Marlins’ three-run lead. His defense wasn’t too shabby, either, as he gloved a shallow fly ball in the second inning to bail Edinson Volquez out of a bases-loaded jam.

The Marlins currently lead 3-2 in the seventh.

Indians sign Michael Martinez to minor league deal

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There’s something irresistible about Michael Martinez, at least where the Indians are concerned. Six weeks after parting ways with the utility infielder/outfielder, the Indians re-signed Martinez for the fifth time in three years, committing to a minor league contract that will see the 34-year-old in Triple-A Columbus this week. He was designated for assignment by the Rays last Thursday after slashing just .077/.172/.077 through his first 29 PA with the club.

Martinez bounced around the American League last season, logging four games with the Red Sox after the Indians jettisoned him in a trade for cash considerations. He returned to Cleveland on waivers and finished the year with a cumulative .238/.267/.307 batting line, contributing one home run and a .574 OPS in just 106 PA. He found more consistency in the minors, touting a .288 average, 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBI in 114 PA for Triple-A Columbus last season, but didn’t receive enough playing time to develop his stuff at the big league level.

Martinez will rejoin fellow infielders Chris Colabello, Nellie Rodriguez, Josh Wilson, Ronny Rodriguez, Todd Hankins, Yandy Diaz, Eric Stamets and Giovanny Urshela on the Clippers’ roster.