Brian McCann among the eight Braves to file for free agency

Eight Atlanta Braves, including All-Star catcher Brian McCann, were among 147 major league players who filed for free agency Thursday.


The other Braves were all pitchers: Tim Hudson, Eric O’Flaherty, Paul Maholm, Luis Ayala, Freddy Garcia, Scott Downs and Kameron Loe.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said he expects to discuss with Hudson the possibility of re-signing the 38-year-old right-hander, who is expected to be fully recovered from a broken ankle before spring training begins.

The Braves are also believed to have interest in bringing back reliever Flaherty, who is expected to draw plenty of interest.

McCann is one of the team’s most popular players, but the Braves have a mid-level payroll and could go with younger (and much cheaper) options at catcher.

The Braves have Evan Gattis, who hit .243 with 21 homers and 65 RBI in 354 at-bats as a rookie while splitting time between catcher and left field, and veteran backup catcher Gerald Laird. They also have strong-armed catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, 21, who made strides as a hitter in his second season at Double-A.

Free agents can sign with any team beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.


YANKEES: Derek Jeter will return to shortstop next season, as New York agreed to a $12 million, one-year deal with its captain.

Jeter, who turns 40 next June, was limited to 17 games this year after breaking his ankle in the 2012 playoffs.


RED SOX: Exercised their $13 million option on left-hander and former Augusta GreenJacket Jon Lester for next season.

The 29-year-old Lester, who has spent his entire eight-year career in Boston, just completed the final year of a five-year, $30 million contract that had a team option for the 2014 season. Lester was 15-8 in the regular season, and 4-1 during Boston’s run to the World Series title.


INDIANS: Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez became a free agent after the club exercised his $8 million club option for next season and Jimenez voided it.


REPLAY TEST: Expanded instant replay will be given a test next week by Major League Baseball at the Arizona Fall League.

MLB said it will be used during five Arizona games from Tuesday through Nov. 9.