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MLB Winter Meetings: Braves Sign Reliever George Sherrill

The Braves are closing in on a deal with lefty reliever George Sherrill, says Jerry Crasnick. Frank Wren said he was looking at possible left-handed relievers to replace Mike Dunn, so this may be it.

Sherrill more than likely had little market power this offseason after less than stellar numbers in 2010. He posted a 6.69 ERA and 5.20 FIP in 36 innings for the Dodgers last year. His walk rate climbed to 5.94 BB/9, while his K/9 dropped to 6.19. This was after a 2009 season of 1.70 ERA and 3.21 FIP in 69 innings.

The problem with all this is Sherrill continues to be used incorrectly. He is a straight lefty specialist, yet teams continue to use him as a full-time reliever. Against LH, Sherrill posted a K/9 of 8.41, a HR/9 of 0.44, BAA of .196, FIP of 3.32 and LD% of 13.2%. Against RH in the same categories: 3.38, 1.69, .415, 7.58 and 25.7%. It is painfully clear what his role should be. The question is whether we can trust Fredi Gonzalez to use him correctly after so many other managers have failed at this.

Stay tuned for updates and confirmations.

Update: According to Crasnick, the Braves have signed Sherrill to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million. Incentives could push it up to $1.4 million. It is a fair amount for the reliever and could prove to be valuable if used correctly.

Dejan Kovacevic tweets the Braves and Pirates are still talking a Kenshin Kawakami trade. Rob Biertempfel adds the Braves are trying to see whether the Pirates or Orioles would pick up more of Kawakami's salary. It looks like a deal could be possible by the end of the meetings.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.