The Atlanta Braves have signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd to a one-year contract worth $4 million in base salary.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported the news, noting that Floyd can make an additional $4.5 million in 2014 if he meets certain performance incentives:
Gavin Floyd has passed physical and agreed to deal with #braves. He'll make $4M base and can earn $4.5M more in incentives.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 16, 2013
The Braves later confirmed the deal on their Twitter account:
The Braves have agreed to terms with free-agent RHP Gavin Floyd on a one-year contract for the 2014 season.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) December 16, 2013
It makes sense that this is a short-term investment by Atlanta and that it is incentive-based, because Floyd is coming off a struggling season for the Chicago White Sox. The 30-year-old made five starts and posted a 0-4 record with a 5.18 ERA, and opponents batted .287 against him.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, Floyd also preferred a one-year deal so that he could prove himself:
Floyd signs on for 1 year with braves, with no option. Wanted 1 year with chance to re-set in year after tommy john.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 16, 2013
Floyd has not been quite the same since winning 17 games in the 2008 campaign, and it all came to a head in his final appearance of 2013 on April 27 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
After yielding two runs within the first 2.2 innings, a seemingly routine pitch caused Floyd to stop. He had torn a flexor muscle and damaged his ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, causing him to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
At 6'6" and 235 pounds, Floyd is a physically imposing presence on the mound with a versatile pitching arsenal. He has shown the capability to be a viable MLB starter in the past.
However, there is no question Floyd is a bit of a risky proposition coming off such major surgery, which occurred on May 6, per MLB.com's Mark Bowman. That report also highlights how Floyd's recovery timetable may be longer than the typical 12 months since he tore both his ligament and tendon.
Whenever Floyd is able to hit the diamond, there is at least a chance he could provide a spark to the Braves' rotation that lost Tim Hudson to the San Francisco Giants this offseason.
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