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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Kyuuentoushu Getto!: Braves Sign Saito To Set Up Wagner

RCP Takashi Saito

Just a day after announcing the signing of Billy Wagner, the Braves completed most of their bullpen upheaval by bringing in another veteran fireballer.

Atlanta came to terms with former Dodgers closer and Red Sox set-up man Takashi Saito on a one-year contract worth $3 million.

Two things are interesting about this signing: the Braves have gotten significantly older in their set-up and closer position. Gonzalez and Soriano will be 32 and 30 next season and Wagner and Saito will be 38 and 40 years old.

Another interesting thing is that Atlanta basically completed their bullpen shopping within two days. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before concerning the Braves. The plan seems to be to make sure that Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano decline arbitration and go on to sign with other ballclubs. It makes sense, after all; why should Soriano or Gonzalez stay with Atlanta another season when they could easily get millions more elsewhere to be a full-time closer?

EDIT: Photo by Richard Hartog of the Los Angeles Times

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