Braves and Michael Bourn avoid arbitration for $6.845 million

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The Braves and center fielder Michael Bourn avoided arbitration today, agreeing on a $6.845 million deal for 2012. That’s a raise from the $4.4 million he made in 2011. He’ll be a free agent after the season.

Bourn was acquired from Houston last summer in exchange for Jordan Schafer and some minor leaguers. Expected to provide a spark, he hit just .278/.321/.352 after coming to Atlanta. He continued to steal bases at a decent clip and is an elite defender.

A Scott Boras client, the Braves likely assumed when they got him and assume now that he’s going to test the market after this season, so a long term deal to avoid arbitration was never in the cards.

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

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Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”