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: Braves to promote Ronald Acuña

AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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MLB.com’s Mark Bowman confirms a report from Daniel Álvarez Montes of EVTV Miami that the Braves are calling up outfield prospect Ronald Acuña from Triple-A Gwinnett.

The move is obviously much anticipated and expected, as Acuña is considered the top prospect in baseball among those who hadn’t been called up to the majors yet. Acuña has had a slow start with Gwinnett, as he’s batting only .215/.301/.277 in 73 plate appearances. However, he has turned things around somewhat in recent days, batting .379 with a double and a homer since April 17.

Acuña should be in Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Reds and he should be a lineup regular going forward. The expectations are high for Acuña, who signed with the Braves as an international free agent in July 2014.