The Atlanta Braves, who have seen their pitching staff undergo a transformation this offseason, Friday signed free agent reliever Antonio Alfonseca to a one-year contract.
The deal is reportedly worth $1.35 million and could reach $2 million in incentives based upon appearances.
Alfonseca, 31, was 3-1 with a 5.83 ERA in 60 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2003. It was his second season in Chicago after spending his first five years with Florida, where he was a member of the 1997 World Series champions.
Alfonseca was born with six fingers and toes on each hand and foot, an oddity that led his teammates to nickname him "Pulpo" -- Spanish for octopus.
Alfonseca isn't the prototypical closer, in that he usually has relatively high hit totals and low strikeout numbers (he relies more on the sinking motion of his fastball and slider to produce ground-ball outs). Alfonseca led the National League with 45 saves in 2000, blowing just four chances while posting a 5-6 record with a 4.24 ERA.
The righthander has a lifetime record of 23-30 with a 4.11 ERA and 121 saves in 400 appearances.
El Pulpo Un Bravo
Atlanta Dugout Top Stories
Toronto expected to exercise option on GrilliJust as the city had figured, veteran right-hander Jason Grilli is expected to return to Toronto for 2017.
Hardball ScoopSunday at 2:47 PM
Braves sign Sam Freeman to minor-league dealSam Freeman has found a new home for next season, as reports indicate that Freeman has signed with the Atlanta Braves in a minor league deal.
Hardball ScoopFriday at 2:08 PM
MLB Ballpark Experience RankingsThe Stadium Journey staff fanned out to all 30 MLB ballparks to establish this year’s rankings. Each stadium was evaluated based on our FANFARE scale which includes 1) an…
Stadium JourneyWednesday at 8:27 AM
Unbeaten streak ends, Tribe falls 5-1 in ALCSA nine-game winning streak and unbeaten October came to a screeching halt on Tuesday afternoon when the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Cleveland Indians by a score of 5-1 from…
Indians Baseball Insider10/18/2016
Brian Snitker to manage Braves in 2017After a successful second half as the interim skipper, Brian Snitker will return to the Atlanta Braves to manage in 2017. Two new coaches will also join his staff.