Fredi Gonzalez's option picked up by Braves

Fredi Gonzalez will be the Braves manager for at least two more seasons after the team picked up a 2014 option on his deal.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Atlanta Braves have exercised their 2014 option on the contract of manager Fredi Gonzalez.


Taking over when Bobby Cox retired after the 2010 season, Gonzalez has managed the Braves to a 183-141 record.

A September slump cost them a playoff berth in the 2011 playoffs and they lost to St. Louis in this year’s NL wild-card game.

Atlanta also hired Dave Holliday and Brad Sloan as special assistants to general manager Frank Wren and major league scouts.

Don Chiti, who held those titles for the past four years, was promoted to special assistant to the GM and pitching development and special assignment.

Jeff Wren, a special assistant to the GM and major league scout, will cover the NL while Holliday will cover the AL.

Also on Wednesday, Jeff Keppinger, Joe Blanton, Jason Bay and a diamond full of players wound up in different places while top contenders waited for a pair of free-agent prizes to make their decisions.

Lefty relievers Randy Choate and Sean Burnett also joined new teams.

Keppinger and the Chicago White Sox agreed to terms on a three-year, $12 million deal.

Bay has reached a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, a person familiar with the deal tells The Associated Press.

The 34-year-old Bay is hoping to resurrect his career with the Mariners after three disappointing and injury-plagued seasons with the New York Mets.

The Los Angeles Angels added another piece to their starting rotation, agreeing with free agent Blanton on a two-year contract worth $15 million contract, according to a baseball source.

The Angels also bolstered their bullpen, agreeing to a two-year contract with Burnett, a left hander.

Choate, a left-handed reliever, has agreed to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, a source told

Choate had a 3.03 ERA and no record in 80 games this year, tying for the major league lead in pitching appearances.

He held left-handed batters to a .158 average (16 for 101) and righties hit .325 against him (13 for 40).

Former MVP Josh Hamilton and former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke remained in play.

They’re the big dominoes this offseason and depending on where they go, more moves will follow.

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey keeps drawing attention.

He lives near the Opryland Hotel in Nashville and dropped in for a visit.

There’s no change in his situation – he wants a new contract, and Boston and several other clubs want to trade for the NL Cy Young winner.

Also in the mix: Cleveland shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, amid speculation Arizona is trying to get him in a multi-team swap.