Padres and Chris Denorfia avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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With tomorrow night’s deadline for teams to tender 2011 contracts to arbitration-eligible players looming, Chris Denorfia and the Padres have avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800,000.

Signed last December after being let go by the A’s following a miserable Triple-A performance, Denorfia earned a mid-May call-up to San Diego and then hit .271 with a .335 on-base percentage and .433 slugging percentage in 99 games for the Padres.

He’s likely to serve as San Diego’s fourth outfielder in 2011 following the team’s trade for Cameron Maybin last month, and Corey Brock of MLB.com reports that the Padres are likely to non-tender fellow arbitration-eligible bench candidates Tony Gwynn Jr. and Scott Hairston.

Ronald Acuña batting sixth, playing left field in his Braves debut

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The Braves have made it official, announcing that they have called up top prospect Ronald Acuña. He’ll bat sixth in tonight’s game against the Reds and will start in left field.

Acuña will be wearing number 13, no doubt to honor past Braves luminaries like Adonis Garcia, Nate McLouth, Ozzie Guillen, Juan Eichelberger and Jerry Royster, all of whom have worn the fabled 1 and 3. Feel like he stands a pretty good chance of besting their exploits.

The 20-year-old Acuña was 11-for-his-last-33 with a homer, a double, four walks, and three stolen bases at Triple-A Gwinnett following a slow start. He tore it up in spring training, however, and hit .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs, 82 RBI, 44 stolen bases, and 88 runs scored in 139 games last season across three levels of the Braves’ minor league system.

The future was delayed a bit, but it’s here now for the Atlanta Braves’ phenom.