Braves Ink Closer

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ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Braves have avoided arbitration with
closer Mike Gonzalez by agreein to a $3.45 million, one-year

Gonzalez was successful in 14 of 16 save chances last year after
returning June 18 from elbow ligament-replacement surgery. He was
0-3 with a 4.28 ERA.

The 30-year-old, who made $2,362,500, converted 39 consecutive
saves before the streak ended Sept. 9.

Atlanta also announced its one-year agreement with outfielder
Matt Diaz. That deal, agreed to last week, is worth $1,237,500.

Three other Braves remain in arbitration: right fielder Jeff
Francoeur, second baseman Kelly Johnson and first baseman Casey