Braves won't offer deal to Matt Diaz
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves re-signed utility player Eric Hinske on Thursday and announced they are not offering a 2011 contract to outfielder Matt Diaz, a .300 hitter through five seasons with the team.
The 32-year-old Diaz becomes a free agent.
Hinske, 33, gets a deal worth $1.45 million. He receives $1.35 million next year, and the Braves hold a $1.5 million option for 2012 with a $100,000 buyout.
Hinske hit .256 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs last season while playing left field, first base and third base. He provides insurance for rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman, the projected 2011 starter.
Hinske hit .298 (14-for-47) with three homers and 12 RBIs as a pinch-hitter.
Diaz spent most of his time with the Braves in a left-field platoon. The Braves recently acquired second baseman Dan Uggla from the Florida Marlins. If third baseman Chipper Jones returns from knee surgery, Martin Prado is expected to move to left field.
Diaz was slowed by a right thumb infection in 2010, when he hit only .250 with seven homers and 31 RBIs.
His overall average for five seasons with the Braves was .305. He hit .338 in 2007 and .313 in 2009, when he set career highs with 13 homers and 58 RBIs.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press