Braves Re-Sign Eric Hinske

6:22pm: The deal will pay Hinske $1.35MM in 2011. The Braves will then choose between a $1.5MM club option for 2012 and a $100K buyout, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).

4:31pm: Hinske will earn $1.45MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).

1:42pm: The Braves re-signed utility man Eric Hinske to a one-year deal with an option, tweets David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionKen Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the deal includes lots of plate appearance incentives.  Hinske chose between offers from the Braves and his hometown Brewers, apparently not finding the guaranteed two years he sought.

Hinske, 33, hit .256/.338/.456 with 11 home runs in 320 plate appearances this year.  He logged innings at left field and first base, and has also played right field and third base in his career.  He's a left-handed hitter who has been shielded from southpaws by his managers in recent years.

I'm surprised Hinske's agent couldn't find him a two-year guarantee, with recent comparables Geoff Blum and Ross Gload.  But perhaps he only had interest in playing for the Braves or Brewers, limiting his leverage.


77 Responses to Braves Re-Sign Eric Hinske Leave a Reply

  1. patburn 5 years ago

    score!

  2. This means clutch hits when it comes down to the wire, like we saw in the division series.

  3. Wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Hinske, that really says all that needs to be said.

    • T Morgan 5 years ago

      And we will be back in the play-offs again.. Hinske is the good luck charm!

  4. MLB_in_the_Know 5 years ago

    Really glad to have him back.

  5. BraveNewWorld 5 years ago

    GOOOOOOOD signing

  6. I’m so happy Eric is coming back to the Braves. We need him off the bench.

  7. Man…I love this guy, so sad he didnt go with the D’Backs

  8. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    YES! It’s just sad Diaz won’t be back. I wish Prado could play center so we could keep Diaz/Hinske in LF, despite the defense. I love those 2 guys.

    • inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

      With Burrell re-signing for $1 million, you just can’t see the Braves offering Diaz $2.5 mm+. That’s too bad, and he may have to take a pay cut to stay in Atlanta (after being non-tendered).

      • Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

        I don’t think he’d want to come back to Atlanta. He won’t be getting any playing time behind Prado and Heyward, and even behind that, he’d platoon with Hinske.

        • NL_East_Rivalry 5 years ago

          Diaz or Hinske would come in when Prado goes to the INF to back the guys up, so I see a lot of playing time. Either that or be a threat on the bench. 2 mill is the max i’d pay and Diaz could get a platoon role elsewhere.

    • csg 5 years ago

      Diaz isnt gone just yet. Braves are going to nontender him, but they still can resign him for the same salary if they choose. They would be wise to bring him back and make Mather compete for a spot instead of just handing him one. They may have to move KK in order to have enough cash though

      • BravesRed 5 years ago

        $1.5 million or so is what Braves probably wanna pay Diaz.

  9. BravesRed 5 years ago

    The best signing of the offseason.

  10. Hell yeah. Glad to have him back.

  11. He won’t make for much of a backup first baseman. I don’t like the idea of throwing Freeman out there full-time just yet, would like to see someone else get some PA’s against tough lefties……and obviously that’s not going to be Hinske. Prado has played a little 1B in his career, and I suppose Mather is an option….

    Anyway, good signing. Still think they need to work with David Ross at 1B this offseason/spring. Dude has led the team in OPS the last two years, he deserves more PA’s and the Braves generally struggle against lefties, so I think it could work as long as he’s not horrible defensively….

    • roberty 5 years ago

      If the Braves wanted to use Ross for anything besides a backup catcher they would need to have another catcher on the roster in case McCann needs to come out of a game for unexpected reasons. It’s too bad because he is a great hitter and it would be nice to get him in there in big pinch hit situations but the risk of being left to finish a game with no catcher is too great.

      • Yucavich 5 years ago

        If McCann needs to come out of the game, just slide Ross from 1B to C and bring Freeman in..no problem with that.

        I like the idea of Ross getting some AB’s at 1B.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          Exactly. Ross is wasted at the end of games right now, so it would be great to have him be able to play another position. Let’s the Braves fill that last bench spot with a defensive-minded guy, too.

  12. erm016 5 years ago

    Good to hear. Glad he’s back. One of my fav players.

  13. How much was the contract for?

  14. generalbocephus 5 years ago

    Frank Wren getting it done this offseason. Bring in a veteran reliever to support the backend of the pen and the Bravos are set.

  15. worship1 5 years ago

    Braves still need an outfielder. Mclouth starting? come on…we sent him to the minors last year because he was not performing. also chipper is not going to play everyday.
    so prado goes to third. I guess Hinske is the left fielder then?
    We still need an outfielder. (and stop saying Mather. that guy sucks and probably wont even make the team after he bats .200 in spring training…

    • Braves don’t really ‘need’ another outfielder, considering they made the playoffs last year with a worse outfield than they’ll have in 2011. McLouth can’t possibly be any worse and his production after being called back up earns him a decent chance of being the every-day guy. Matt Young will get a long look in ST as well. Right now the outfield options are Heyward, McLouth, Hinske, Prado, Mather, and Young. I can see Wren going after a guy like Gwynn Jr for his defense, which is probably a good idea even if McLouth is able to bounce back at the plate.

      • Brad426 5 years ago

        Then make Diory the infield utility guy over Conrad and you have solid defense off the bench. Otherwise you have nobody to back up SS.

      • inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

        I think Wren understands the concept of sunk costs. So if it looks as if McLouth really isn’t a big league hitter, there’s no reason for the Braves to not give someone else a shot at his ABs (perhaps one of the guys they just signed to minor-league deals, or someone like a Gwynn Jr., as you suggest.)

        The Braves have to pay McLouth’s full contract, like it or not, or get another team to take him and take on some of the money. But they’re under no obligation to give McLouth playing time if he can’t do the job.

    • How about Tony Gwynn Jr., who was non-tendered? Good speed and D.

      • Brad426 5 years ago

        Perfect fit for what they need, I think.

      • Faceman937 5 years ago

        I think we are more likely to get Hairston. We need a RH batter not another Lefty. However, Gwynn would be a cheap solution too!

  16. Mather hasn’t shown any reason for us to trust him…Matt Young is my hope if McLouth doesn’t bounce back but I don’t see why we wouldn’t at least give Nate a ST opportunity.

    Really really glad Hinske resigned, I’m pretty convinced Matty D isn’t coming back which I find really bothersome. Diaz has been a fantastic force in so many different ways for the Braves until last year but that could happen to anyone with injuries. Either way he still hustled every day and symbolized Bobby’s idea of a big league hitter.

    We have plenty of other options though sadly, that money will be spent on relievers which we could definitely use.

  17. GoAwayNow 5 years ago

    I’m fairly certain whatever team Hinske is on (or at least traded to mid-season) is destined to make the playoffs. Good pick up for the Braves, he has his uses.

  18. nitrolew 5 years ago

    Prado, Heyward, Jones, Uggla, McCann, Gonzales, Crawford, Freeman
    Hinske, Ross, Conrad, Mather, Diaz and 12 pitchers = World Series. GO GET CRAWFORD, WERTH OR UPTON!

    • Matrix9381 5 years ago

      the Braves have like 2+/- million to spend. There is no way for them to be able to pick up guys like Crawford, Werth or Upton. UNLESS, Wren is willing to unload a LOT of farmhands. I doubt that happening. If the Braves could get rid of KK which they are trying to do because his 6.65mil is killing us. They had 2 teams interested and 1 was willing to take half his contract leaving the braves 3 mil to add and have around 6 mil. Wren already said with what money left he is lookin for a veteran releiver to help out Kimbriel and others so.. Best bet would be Tony Gwynn Jr.

      • we have more than 2+/- million. With Wagner and Saito coming off the books, that’s 10.8 million there. PLUS, Glaus’ contract is gone (another 1 million). Add in Uggla’s salary and now this and there’s around 6 million to play with. However, I keep hearing that Liberty will up the payroll a bit.

        • Matrix9381 5 years ago

          I understand and agree with everything you said, BUT… the 13.8 million total from Saito, Wagner, DIAZ now and Glaus. Remember you still have to pay Uggla 10 million this year. I’m hoping I got that right.. If this is not true then I’m missunderstanding something somewhere and please correct me. This is where I come up with the 2 +/- to play with. I heard the same about Liberty beefing the payroll up too. I hope they do. We really do need a Legitimate leadoff guy (not to say Prado isnt a legitimate leadoff guy) But I would rather see him hit with a guy on base already.

  19. rob9earl 5 years ago

    Crawford and Werth are free agents so not sure how you think we can get them. We don’t have a Yankee budget. Upton would be a possibility if we made a trade with Tampa Bay.

  20. ATL_Mindset 5 years ago

    Bench bat/ back-up CF?

  21. Matrix9381 5 years ago

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HINSKE!!!! He is tha man! Great re-sign for the Braves! Still not sure why they wouldn’t offer him more then 1 year, he is a Golden Ticket bench player and club house guy.. I know WREN is using the rest of the cash to get a veteran bullpen guy, BUT, I would love to see him go and get Tony Gwynn Jr. I wouldnt throw out McLouth yet either. This last stance in the majors at end of season showed him back in his old form just about and I was glad to see that. POSSIBLE LINEUP

    Gwynn Jr
    Prado
    Jones
    Uggla
    McCann
    Heyward
    Freeman
    Gonzalez
    Pitcher

    • Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay
      Halladay

      Game. Set. Match.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      They updated the post after you wrote this, but turns out it’s 1 year with a club option and a $100K buyout.

  22. BaseballFanatic0707 5 years ago

    The rare combination of a decent hitter who has no problem with coming off the bench and can get the clutch hits.

  23. Tyler Sekula 5 years ago

    Great signing for the Braves. They are really putting together a good team for next year.

  24. jtownse9 5 years ago

    crawford or anyone of that calibre isnt going to happen and youre an idiot for thinking it..the braves have NEVER gone after the top free agents, what makes you think theyre going to now? plus they dont even need to with the uggla trade(i like uggla but we needed an outfielder, not another infielder-assuming prado can play the OF which he has never played professionally was a bad call by wren IMO) the braves need to get a speedy, defensive outfielder that is capable of playing everyday in case mclouth isnt able to get it done(although im fairly optimistic because he hit .273 off the bench when he returned to the lineup in sept.) im liking the way the team is coming together i suppose..just get it done, wren..dont wait this year

  25. slider32 5 years ago

    By signing Hinske, this automatically puts the Braves in the playoffs.

  26. braves808 5 years ago

    why would we want tony gwynn jr? especially as a starter? guy is 28 and batted .204 last year. I’d rather have Mclouth, at least he can hit the ball outta the infield.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Because Gwynn can actually PLAY center field.

      • generalbocephus 5 years ago

        If you like Gwynn, then you will love Schafer. He is a better hitter hurt than Gwynn is healthy and very similar defense.

        • Brad426 5 years ago

          Maybe. He didn’t exactly light it up or play stellar defense when he was up and healthy, but that was in a small sample size. The only reason I’m saying Gwynn is because he plays a decent CF and mostly what the Braves need is a guy that can be put in late in a game as a defensive upgrade. If Schafer is ready I’m all for it, I just have my doubts he is.

    • Brad426 5 years ago

      Because Gwynn can actually PLAY center field.

  27. braves808 5 years ago

    why would we want tony gwynn jr? especially as a starter? guy is 28 and batted .204 last year. I’d rather have Mclouth, at least he can hit the ball outta the infield.

  28. Brad426 5 years ago

    So a year with an option. Good for you, Hinske. Not quite 2 guaranteed years, but at least $1.45M.

  29. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!! I love Hinske!!!

  30. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Of course someone want’s to play where they are most comfortable. But why would he want to come back to pinch hit on occasion? Prado is going to start 85% of games in LF unless Chipper gets hurt, then Diaz gets to platoon again, but that isn’t certain. He’d likely go where there is playing time.

  31. But what makes you think Diaz can get more playing time elsewhere? His lefty/righty splits are pretty drastic and his defense is below average, he’ll likely platoon where ever he ends up.

  32. nitrolew 5 years ago

    1. You know Chipper will be lucky to play 80 games. Let Hinske go ahead and hit you 20 homers in left. Prado in center and 3B will work. Just keep McLouth off the field. Crawford would be worth whatever we need to give up.

  33. Yucavich 5 years ago

    The lack of intelligence in this post is just painful.

  34. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Exactly. A platoon role is more playing time than the backup half of a platoon to an All-Star hitter.

  35. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Matt Diaz non-tendered, Frank Wren Quote: Diaz “Won’t be back in 2011.” Where’s my apology?

  36. csg 5 years ago

    yeah, dont really know where to start with this one. Chipper will play 120-130 games. Hinske isnt an everyday player, he’s a bench bat. Prado cant play center and you really want him and Hinske being 2/3 of our OF? Have you not seen our budget? Braves have about $3-4 mil left and need another bench player and a RHRP. C’mon man…

  37. The lack of any human empathy in this post makes me think you have issues.

  38. nitrolew 5 years ago

    KK, JJ, DL, NM;and any prospects in the organization…….I repeat, 1
    player from the World Series. That’s worth the extra $$$. [Don’t get me
    wrong, I like DL]

  39. Jeff 5 years ago

    Prado plays CF in winter ball. It’s possible he could do it at the MLB level.

    That said, I think Matt Young will be the starting CF next year for the Braves.

  40. Brad426 5 years ago

    I think Prado plays LF in winter ball. I just don’t see him having the athleticism to play CF.

  41. NYBravosFan10 5 years ago

    I was waiting for someone to bring his name up…we put him on the 40-man roster, why the hell not give him a shot?

  42. Yucavich 5 years ago

    No, no. I have empathy. My good pal Ferris Bueller said it best: “It’s understanding that make it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself.”

    I realize that there are people out there that have no clue about what makes up payroll, roster construction, the free agent market, the general flow of the offseason, etc.

    I very much understand that.

  43. Yucavich 5 years ago

    No, no. I have empathy. My good pal Ferris Bueller said it best: “It’s understanding that make it possible for people like us to tolerate a person like yourself.”

    I realize that there are people out there that have no clue about what makes up payroll, roster construction, the free agent market, the general flow of the offseason, etc.

    I very much understand that.

  44. Brad426 5 years ago

    As much as I wish Lowe and a prospect would get us Crawford, he is a free agent and is looking for a contract worth $100M, which the Braves can’t afford.

  45. Brad426 5 years ago

    I wish there was a “REALLY liked” button.

  46. Brad426 5 years ago

    Agreed. I think my main point is if you have to have a CF that doesn’t provide much offense, he should at least be a plus defensive player. Nate isn’t that.

  47. generalbocephus 5 years ago

    Schafer will get more than an invite. Remember he has been hurt since April of ’09. If he is healthy he will have a great chance to make the team out of ST. Dude has serious upside and he is only 23 I believe.

  48. nitrolew 5 years ago

    I’m saying there’s enough payroll to be saved in some of these guys to
    afford Crawford. The extra $8-10M would be more than compensated by the WS.
    Just sayin’…

  49. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    I was joking, dude. But I was right.

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