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Braves, Wickman agree to one-year deal


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WASHINGTON -- Braves general manager John Schuerholz won't enter a second consecutive offseason in search of a closer. Bob Wickman has agreed to come back to serve in that role for the 2007 season.


Before Wednesday night's game against the Nationals at RFK Stadium, Schuerholz announced that the club had agreed in principle with Wickman on a one-year contract. Financial specifics weren't immediately available.


"Bob's impact on our bullpen and team has been obvious," Schuerholz said in a statement. "He is a proven closer and we look forward to beginning the 2007 season with him on our club."


Since being acquired from the Indians on July 20, Wickman has proven to be the reliable closer the Braves lacked during the season's first 3 1/2 months. In 24 appearances with Atlanta, the 37-year-old veteran closer has compiled 22 2/3 innings and allowed just three earned runs.


Dating back to June 30, Wickman has converted 19 of 20 save opportunities. He has blown just one save in the 16 chances he's been given with the Braves.


Wickman owns a 60-56 career record with 244 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 774 games (28 starts). He is tied with Hall of Famer Don Sutton for 41st place all-time in games pitched. A two-time All-Star (2000 & 2005), Wickman is pitching for his fourth major league club after previously working for the New York Yankees (1992-96), the Milwaukee Brewers (1996-2000) and the Indians (2000-06).








This is a huge boost for the Braves.

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