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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Braves rumors: Talks between Atlanta, Eric O'Flaherty 'not dead'


By on 12/31/2013 12:30:00 PM

The Atlanta Braves' bullpen has been considered a strength for the past several seasons thanks in large part to closer Craig Kimbrel and late-inning relievers such as Jonny Venters. Another setup man that's been pivotal to the team's success has been Eric O'Flaherty.

Atlanta still boasts a strong group of relievers, but David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes that unit could get even stronger if the Braves are able to re-sign O'Flaherty. O'Brien adds that talks between the Braves and O'Flaherty are "not dead."
Entering last season, O'Flaherty was considered one of the top relievers in the game. From 2011-12, the left-hander maintained an ERA and WHIP of 1.31 and 1.115. He was off to another nice start last year, but he ultimately required Tommy John surgery, undergoing the procedure in May.

Considering when he went under the knife, O'Flaherty is expected to miss the start of the 2014 campaign. After returning, pitchers can take another year to fully recover from surgery, but O'Flaherty is still only 28 years old. With his previous level of production, he still figures to command a contract with significant incentives, even if his base salary is impacted by the fact that he's returning from major surgery.

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