(AP) - Casey Kotchman and the Atlanta Braves have
avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth
Kotchman could earn an additional $100,000 in performance
bonuses under the deal agreed to last week and announced Monday.
He hit a combined .272 with 14 homers and 74 RBIs last season
for the Braves and the Los Angeles Angels.
The first baseman, who turns 26 on Feb. 22, hit only .149 with
no homers in his first 22 games after he was acquired by the Braves
on July 29 in the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to the Angels.
Kotchman hit .305 with two homers and 15 RBIs in September. He
has a .997 career fielding percentage with just eight errors in 357
Atlanta remains in arbitration with second baseman Kelly Johnson
and right fielder Jeff Francoeur.