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Atlanta Braves Link Dump: 2/5

Today's Link Dump

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Braves News:

Mark Bowman reported Tuesday evening that Freddie Freeman and the Braves came to agreement on an eight-year, $135 million contract that makes the 24-year old slugging first baseman the highest paid player in franchise history. No surprise for the glamorous contract, as the emerging superstar put up great numbers last year in his first All-Star campaign. Not only did he lead the team in WAR (4.8), but he hit .319 with 23 home runs, 109 RBIs and 89 runs scored in 2013 and finished second in MLB with a .443 batting average with runners in scoring position. Here's a list of the other highest-paid Braves through the years.

Right fielder Jason Heyward also avoided arbitration hearings by agreeing to a two-year, $13 million deal to stay in Atlanta on Tuesday afternoon. This is good news for the Braves, as the 24-year old was thriving in the leadoff spot in which he hit .322 in 29 games. It's somewhat surprising that the two came to terms, since Heyward's agents had filed a salary number for arbitration and his team was a file-to-trial team.

The Hammerin' Hank continues to keep on keepin on, as he celebrates his 80th birthday today. reflects on the legacy that the towering Braves icon left behind on the sport.

Rome starting pitcher Wes Parsons highlights this group, as the Talking Chop staff continues their countdown of the Braves Top 25 prospects.

While the Braves avoided hearings with two of their young superstars, it's almost certain they will have to face a hearing with last season's MLB Delivery Man of the Year, Craig Kimbrel. The flame-throwing Alabama native has a high asking price.

With the Braves seemingly securing their future this week, many think Andrelton Simmons will be the next to sign a multi-year deal to stay in Atlanta. The 24-year old Gold Glove shortstop saved 41 defensive runs in the 2013 season, which was the highest total in the 11 years that Baseball Info Solutions has compiled the stat.

Along with the other big baseball news on Tuesday, former Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz announced that he will not be playing baseball this year. He wrote a blog post that he shared on twitter with his followers in which he detailed his reason for leaving and thanked many teammates and coaches.

Per Dave O'Brien of the AJC, the Braves will be wearing a new hat this year in spring training. Atlanta will eschew the somewhat controversial screaming Indian logo in favor of their retro lowercase 'a'. The 'a' will be on a white front background of an otherwise black hat.

League Wide News:

The New York Daily News reported that lawyers for the Major League Baseball Players Association asked a judge to dismiss a suit brought against the union by the suspended Yankees third baseman.

The league is in talks on whether or not they should bring forth harsher penalties to deter performance-enhancing drug use.

After already landing one big free agent this offseason, CBS Baseball Insider Jon Heyman notes that the Seattle Mariners are not done just yet as they hope to sign free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz to a multi-year contract. The club also has their eyes on closer Fernando Rodney.

The Padres announced that left-hander Cory Luebke will miss his second consecutive season after it was determined that he will likely need a second reconstructive elbow surgery on his pitching arm. In his rookie season the southpaw went 6-10 with a 3.29 ERA.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Marlins signed free-agent utility man Jeff Baker to a two-year contract worth $3.7 million in addition with $500K available in bonuses each season. Baker enjoyed a nice season in 2013 with the Rangers, hitting .279 with 11 homers in 175 plate appearances.

Jon Heyman reports that Seattle has reached agreement with outfielder Logan Morrison on a $1.75 million contract for the 2014 season. Morrison was traded by the Marlins this offseason.

The former Phillies skipper, who posted a .551 winning percentage (780-636) in his nine years in Philadelphia, will be honored on the team's Wall of Fame before their home game against the Mets on Aug. 9.

The Texas Rangers have been in talks with several Korean-based companies this winter. Would there new ballpark name be Samsung Park?

While he has a love for the game of baseball as well as football, the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champion quarterback will not make an appearance as a player in Surprise, Arizona during Rangers spring training camp. Wilson was a .229 career hitter in his college career at NC State.

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