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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 7:52AM

Braves reach deal with right-hander Gavin Floyd

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- The Braves added a needed veteran for their rotation Monday when they agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Gavin Floyd.

Now the question is when Floyd will be ready to pitch.

Floyd, 30, is recovering from surgery in May to repair the ulnar collateral ligament and a torn flexor muscle in his right elbow. That ended his seventh season with the White Sox.

He passed a physical in Atlanta on Monday before completing the one-year, $4 million contract. He could earn an additional $4.5 million in incentives.

Floyd said his arm "feels tremendous."

"It's nice to start over, create the right mechanics ... all the simple things to become more natural," he said.

Floyd, who met with reporters at Turner Field on Monday, said he already has recovered his arm speed and is just working on endurance. He said he has been cleared to throw from 55 feet.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said he hopes Floyd can be ready in May. Despite his optimistic update on his recovery, Floyd said "I have no idea" when he'll be ready to pitch.

Floyd said he liked the Braves, who won the NL East in 2013, for their consistent success.

"It just seemed like all the arrows were pointing to Atlanta," he said.

Wren said he expects Floyd to be a "solid, middle of the rotation starter."

The Braves needed more experience in the rotation after losing Tim Hudson, who signed with the Giants, and free agent Paul Maholm.

The rotation returns Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood. Medlen, 28, has the most experience of the group. Beachy, 27, missed most of the 2013 season recovering from elbow ligament-replacement surgery.

David Hale, who was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts this year, could compete for a spot. Wood pitched in relief in 20 of his 31 appearances last season.

Even before Hudson signed with the Giants, Wren said adding a veteran starting pitcher was a top offseason priority. Wren said Floyd will help the younger starters.

"He's a solid starter that's been around and knows what needs to be done," Wren said.

Before the elbow injury, Floyd consistently logged 180 or more innings with the White Sox. He won 10 or more games in five straight seasons from 2008-12. He was 0-4 with a 5.18 ERA in five games this year.

Floyd's best season in Chicago came in 2008, when he was 17-8. He has a 70-70 career record with the White Sox and Phillies.

The Braves also announced Monday they avoided arbitration with Beachy by reaching an agreement on a one-year deal.
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