Braves sign Gavin Floyd to 1-year, $4 million deal

Tom Szczerbowski

Atlanta has locked down the right-hander for 2014 with an incentive-laden contract.

The Atlanta Braves have signed free-agent starter Gavin Floyd to a one-year, $4 million contract, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The right-hander can potentially earn a few million more in performance incentives that would bring the deal up to $8.5 million overall.

The Braves had been working towards a deal with Floyd for a while, but finalization of the deal was contingent on the passing of a physical. Floyd reportedly did so Monday morning.

The 30-year-old missed most of the 2013 season due to elbow injuries; he made five starts for the White Sox in April then sat on the shelf the rest of the year recovering from flexor tendon and Tommy John surgeries. He was originally given rehab timetable of 14-19 months following his surgery in May, but Tim Dierkes of MLBTR reports that Floyd will start working off a mound sometime in December, which should put him on track to vie for a spot in the Braves' rotation next spring -- barring any setbacks, of course.

In his five healthy seasons with Chicago, Floyd was a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm. Working an arsenal heavy on the fastball-slider combo but also including a curve and change, Floyd posted a 4.12 ERA over 948⅓ innings of work, averaging 31 starts and 190 innings pitched from 2008-2012.

The recent track record of parachute contracts given to free agents coming off of Tommy John isn't great -- see: Scott Baker and Ryan Madson -- but the Braves aren't taking too much of a risk by guaranteeing Floyd just $4 million.

Should Floyd stay healthy, he'll effectively step into the innings-eater role that Paul Maholm occupied in Atlanta for the last season-plus. While he isn't old by any means -- 2014 will be just his age-31 season -- Floyd will be the de facto veteran among the Braves' starting five, joining Kris Medlen (28), Mike Minor (26), Julio Teheran (23) and Brandon Beachy (27).

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