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Orioles Sign Mike Gonzalez and Garret Atkins


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By Tim Dierkes [December 16, 2009 at 9:38pm CST] 9:38pm: Not a surprise given the money he's making, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter) confirms that Gonzalez will indeed be the closer in Baltimore.


8:07pm: Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown tweets that an agreement has been reached for $12MM, with incentives that could make it worth as much as $16MM.


7:47pm: : The Orioles are nearing a two-year deal with lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Gonzalez's physical should occur this week. Since the Braves offered arbitration to Gonzalez, a Type A free agent, the Orioles will surrender their second-round pick (currently #43) to them.


Gonzalez, 32 in May, attracted strong interest this winter (at least according to Scott Boras). For the Braves this year he posted a 2.42 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 4.0 BB/9 in a career-high 74.3 innings. He saved ten games, with Rafael Soriano getting the Braves' other chances. Gonzalez had Tommy John surgery in May of '07 and made it back to the Majors about a year later. He missed some time in July of this year with elbow tendinitis.


By Mark Polishuk [December 17, 2009 at 5:21pm CST] THURSDAY, 5:21pm: Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com has the specific figures for the contract's 2010 incentives. Atkins could earn $250K for 550 plate appearances and another $250K for 600.


10:31am: Atkins gets a one-year, $4.5MM deal according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. He'll earn $4MM in 2010 and has an $8.5MM club option for '11 with a $500K buyout. He can also earn another $500K in plate appearance incentives in 2010. My expectations for Atkins are pretty low, but there's little harm in the Orioles giving him a shot. - Tim Dierkes


WEDNESDAY, 9:50pm: Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun are reporting that the Orioles have reached an agreement with corner infielder Garrett Atkins to a one-year contract. The deal is contingent on Atkins passing a physical later this week, and terms of the contract were not released.


Atkins was non-tendered by Colorado last week after hitting .226/.308/.342 in 399 plate appearances in 2009. Atkins has spent his entire seven-year major league career with the Rockies, posting a career .811 OPS. He's spent time at first and third base in recent years, and since we knew that Baltimore was looking for corner infielders this winter, Atkins' versatility gives the O's the ability to sign another 1B or 3B if they so choose.

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