Ramirez signs deal with Braves

Braves' starter Horacio Ramirez has avoided arbitration and agreed to a contract for 2006. Bill Shanks has more.

The Atlanta Braves have avoided arbitration with left-handed starting pitcher Horacio Ramirez by agreeing to a $2.2 million dollar contract for 2006.

Ramirez, who was eligible for arbitration for the first time, made $370,000 last season.

The 26-year-old Ramirez was 11-9 in 2005 with an ERA of 4.63. He allowed 214 hits in 202.1 innings pitched, with 67 walks, and 80 strikeouts. Ramirez was streaky throughout the season. He was 3-4 in the first two months with a 5.65 ERA. Then in June and July he went 6-2 with a 3.56 ERA. He regressed late in the season, going 2-3 with a 5.38 ERA in August and September.

With Mike Hampton out for the 2006 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Ramirez will be the only left-hander in Atlanta's rotation.

The Braves still must work out a contract with starter Jorge Sosa, the last player eligible for arbitration this winter.

Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. You can email Bill at thebravesshow@email.com.

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