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.