Braves appear close to agreement with Floyd

The Braves could be close to signing a contract with free agent pitcher Gavin Floyd.

 

The Braves have held an interest in Floyd, which was taken a step further by David O'Brien's tweet earlier today. The two sides appear close to an agreement.

 

Floyd would be a buy-low move for the Braves, as he's coming off Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery this past May. Prior to that, he had been on the disabled list two other times for flexor issues in 2012, so it seemed to be an inevitable surgery.

 

The surgery means Floyd should be able to return by June. Best-case scenarios peg his return a couple months into the season. So the Braves are basically making a move a couple months into the season.

 

Floyd has a career 4.48 ERA and 4.39 FIP in 187 starts and 1,151 innings. His xFIP has always been lower, as a career 4.14 mark shows, and pitching in the extreme hitting confines of Chicago has been a problem for his ERA.

 

Floyd doesn't have outstanding strikeout numbers, but an 18 percent mark is good. He avoids walks at a pretty good rate (8% career), and gets ground balls at a 44 percent rate. Floyd pitched at least 187 innings in each of his first four full-time years with the White Sox with steady numbers. He will be 31 years old in 2014.

 

This would be a good low-risk move for the Braves, assuming the price is right. Floyd's injury history and losing a month or two of the season will help keep the price low, and Atlanta gets much-needed depth for the rotation without absolutely needing his services right away. Turner Field's more neutral confines should help Floyd lower his home run and runs allowed totals, which would make the move even more valuable.

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