Braves sign Sam Freeman, avoid arbitration with lefty

The Braves signed reliever Sam Freeman to a one-year, $1.075 million contract Thursday, avoiding arbitration with the left-hander.

Freeman, 30, was eligible for arbitration for the first time after posting career-best statistics in 2017 with the Braves, his fourth team in four seasons. He was 2-0 with a 2.55 ERA in 58 appearances and had 59 strikeouts, 27 walks and three homers allowed in 60 innings.

He was projected to make about $1.2 million if he’d gone to arbitration.

The move left three unsigned arbitration-eligible Braves: starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz and relievers Arodys Vizcaino and Dan Winkler.

Major league teams will swap arbitration figures Friday with any remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible players, setting up February hearings if no agreement is reached before then. 

The Braves, under new general manager Alex Anthopoulos, will continue to follow a policy of going to a hearing with any player who isn’t signed before arbitration figures are swapped, unless a player signs a multi-year deal before the scheduled hearing. Most teams follow a similar policy.