The Braves have been in negotiations with free-agent starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and were close to finalizing a deal, a person familiar with the situation told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Floyd, who’ll be 31 in January and is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, is not an “ace” but could provide depth and a veteran presence the Braves wanted to add to a talented but young and relatively inexperienced starting rotation.
The right-hander should be ready to pitch in major league games in May, barring any setbacks. Floyd’s recovery has progressed without any problems, his Atlanta-based agent Michael Moye said recently.
He went 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts in 2013 for the White Sox after averaging more than 12 wins over the previous five years, including double-digit wins each of those seasons and a 17-8 record and 3.84 ERA in 2008 for Chicago’s American League Central champions.
Floyd made $9.5 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract with the White Sox, and his new contract is expected to be a one-year deal at a significantly lower base salary, with incentives tied to innings pitched or starts made in 2014.
In 10 seasons with the Phillies and White Sox, he has a 70-70 record and 4.48 ERA in 199 games (187 starts), with 903 strikeouts in 1,151-1/3 innings.
The Orioles and Twins were also known to have pursued him this offseason, and the Maryland native met with the Orioles during last week’s Winter Meetings before crossing them off his list.
The fourth overall selection in the 2001 draft, Floyd spent three seasons with Philadelphia before being traded along with Gio Gonzalez to the White Sox in December 2006 for Freddy Garcia.
When healthy, Floyd features an above-average curveball and a fastball in the 92-95 mph range. He was durable until last season, averaging more than 190 innings while making 30 or more starts every season during a four-year span from 2008 through 2011, and 29 starts and 168 innings in 2012.
Floyd was 62-56 with a 4.12 ERA in a five-year stretch through 2012, with 754 strikeouts, 295 walks and 109 homers allowed in 948-1/3 innings.