Braves sign Dan Winkler to one-year deal, avoiding arbitration

12:09 p.m Friday, Jan. 12, 2018 Atlanta Braves
Braves reliever Dan Winkler has come back from two major elbow surgeries in the past three years. 

The Braves signed reliever Dan Winkler to a one-year, $610,000 contract Friday, avoiding arbitration with the right-hander.

After he missed much of three seasons recovering from two major elbow surgeries, Winkler made an impressive return in late August, posting a 2.51 ERA and .152 opponents’ average in 16 appearances and allowing seven hits and six walks with 18 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

He has accrued most of his three years of major league service while on the 60-day disabled list, first while recovering from Tommy John surgery and then for a broken elbow sustained while throwing a pitch in his third appearance of the 2016 season April 10. 

Winkler, who’ll turn 28 on Feb. 2, was projected to make about $1 million if the Braves had gone to an arbitration hearing with him.

A former Rule 5 pick from the Rockies, Winkler must spend the first few weeks of the 2018 season on the Braves’ 25-man major league roster to fulfill Rule 5 requirements or be offered back to the Rockies for half of the original claiming price.