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Braves avoid arbitration with all eligible players

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves have agreed to a $5,475,000, one-year deal with Mike Foltynewicz, avoiding arbitration with the All-Star right-handed starting pitcher.

Atlanta also avoided arbitration with its other six players who were eligible, agreeing with right-handed starting pitcher Kevin Gausman ($9.35 million), relievers Sam Freeman ($1,575,000), Arodys Vizcaíno ($4.8 million) and Dan Winkler ($1.61 million), infielder Charlie Culberson ($1,395,000) and outfielder Adam Duvall ($2,875,000).

Foltynewicz went 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA, 202 strikeouts and 68 walks last season and was a big reason the Braves were the surprise National League East Division champions. His role as staff ace was clear when he was the choice of manager Brian Snitker to pitch Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After going 5-8 with a 4.43 ERA in 21 starts with the Baltimore Orioles, Gausman prospered after a midseason trade to the Braves. He was 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 18 walks in 10 regular-season starts for Atlanta.

Duvall hit only .132 with no homers in 53 at-bats after coming to the Braves in a trade July 30. Even so, he is a strong defensive corner outfielder who hit more than 30 homers in both 2016 and 2017 with the Cincinnati Reds.

Vizcaino, who has battled shoulder problems, shared save chances last year with A.J. Minter, who was in his second MLB season. Vizcaino finished with 16 saves in 18 chances and a 2.11 ERA, and his health will be a key to Atlanta’s bullpen plans for 2019.

Winkler led the Braves in holds with 23 in 2018, pitching 60 1/3 innings and appearing in 69 games. He had 69 strikeouts and 20 walks.

Freeman appeared in 63 games last year, pitching 50 1/3 innings and getting credit for nine holds while striking out 58 batters and walking 32.

Culberson, a former Calhoun High School standout, played in 113 games last season, his first with the Braves. He appeared at every position except catcher and center fielder and hit .270 with 18 doubles, 12 home runs, 45 RBIs and 47 runs scored.

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