Hinske will return to Braves for 2011 season
Eric Hinske delivered a number of timely hits for the Braves last summer and he has now proven that he has the ability to come through in the clutch during the winter months.
About six hours after the “LeBron returns to Cleveland” storyline had become nauseating, Braves fans were given reason to distance themselves from the basketball world and focus on Hinske’s return.
Hinske might not have received the two-year deal he was seeking. But the Braves appeased him enough with a one-year contract that includes an option for the 2012 season.
“It’s a perfect fit,” Braves veteran catcher Brian McCann said. “There
are a lot of guys who are going to be excited to hear about this.”
Hinske hit .256 with 11 homers and a .793 OPS in the 320 plate appearances he compiled in 131 games with the Braves last year.
With Martin Prado targeted to serve as the primary left fielder, Hinske will likely be primarily utilized as a left-handed pinch-hitter, who will see some time in left field and also serve as insurance in the event that Freddie Freeman struggles during his early days at the Major League level.
The Braves still haven’t announced their decisions leading into tonight’s deadline for arbitration-eligible players. But there still isn’t any reason to believe that they plan to tender Matt Diaz a contract.
I still think Diaz will wind up with his good friend Charlie Manuel in Philadelphia.