ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves made baseball’s first big offseason move when they agreed to terms with former Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton on a five-year contract worth $75.25 million, the largest free-agent contract in franchise history.
Upton’s deal was pending a physical and the Braves weren’t expected to make an announcement before Thursday. Upton changed the avatar on his Twitter page to a Braves script “A” by early Wednesday evening.
Upton, 28, has spent his entire career with the Rays and hit .246 with a personal-best 28 homers along with 31 stolen bases in 2012.
REDS, BROXTON SIGN 3-YEAR DEAL: In Cincinnati, the Reds signed Jonathan Broxton to a three-year, $21 million contract.
Broxton came to the Reds last July in a trade with Kansas City and was part of their push toward the playoffs. He filled in as the closer when Aroldis Chapman came down with a tired shoulder and had four saves in six chances overall with a 2.82 ERA, impressing the Reds.
Pettitte SIGNS one-year deal: In New York, left-handed pitcher Andy Pettitte signed a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $12 million Wednesday, putting baseball’s biggest postseason winner back in pinstripes.
Pettitte turns 41 in June. He retired after the 2010 season, then decided to come back this year and signed a contract guaranteeing $2.5 million.
Pettitte went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts. He missed almost three months because of a broken lower left leg, suffered when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Cleveland’s Casey Kotchman on June 27.
Los Angeles, Madson REACH ONE-year deal: In Anaheim, Calif., Ryan Madson agreed to a one-year deal Wednesday with the Los Angeles Angels, who believe the right-handed reliever will make a strong comeback from Tommy John surgery.
Well ahead of schedule in his recovery, Madson said he expects to be the Angels’ closer.