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Sunday July 5th, 2015 5:26AM

Braves reach deals with 5 players, Prado unsigned

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves avoided arbitration with five players Friday, including outfielder Jason Heyward, starting pitcher Kris Medlen and reliever Eric O'Flaherty.

Heyward agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.65 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility, a big increase from the $565,000 he made last season while batting .269 with 27 homers, 82 RBIs and 21 stolen bases.

Medlen, also up for arbitration for the first time, settled for one year at $2.6 million after earning $490,000 last season. He became the team's most dominant starter over the second half, finishing 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA. The right-hander also started the wild-card playoff for the Braves, pitching well in a season-ending loss to the Cardinals.

O'Flaherty, the main setup reliever for closer Craig Kimbrel, received a $4.32 million deal. The lefty made $2.49 million last season, going 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA.

Also agreeing to one-year deals were relievers Jonny Venters ($1.625 million) and Cristhian Martinez ($749,750).

The Braves failed to reach an agreement with Martin Prado by the arbitration deadline. Prado is asking for $7.05 million, while the team countered with an offer of $6.65 million.

Prado made $4.75 million last season, when he batted a team-leading .301 with 10 homers, 70 RBIs and 17 stolen bases as the left fielder. He's expected to move to third base to replace the retired Chipper Jones.
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