Braves sign closer Wickman to one-year extension

Sep 20, 2006 - 9:56 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) - The Atlanta Braves obviously liked what they have seen out of Bob Wickman.

Two months to the day after acquiring Wickman from the Cleveland Indians, the Braves signed the two-time All-Star closer to a one-year contract extension.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The 37-year-old Wickman has sparkled with the Braves since the trade on July 20. In 24 appearances with Atlanta, Wickman is 15-for-16 in save opportunities with 22 strikeouts, one walk and a 1.19 ERA in 22 2/3 innings.

"Bob's impact on our bullpen and team has been obvious," Braves general manager John Schuerholz said. "He is a proven closer and we look forward to beginning the 2007 season with him on our club."

Wickman has 244 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 774 games. His career record is 60-56 and he is the Indians' all-time saves leader with 139. Wickman led the American League in saves with 45 in 2005.

The Braves, who saw their reign of 14 consecutive division titles ended by the New York Mets on Monday, were desperate for bullpen help at the time of the trade, having blown 20 saves already. At the time of the deal, Wickman had converted 30-of-34 save chances for Cleveland, which was looking to slash payroll.

An All-Star selection in 2000 and 2005, Wickman is with his fourth major league club, having pitched for the New York Yankees (1992-96), Milwaukee Brewers (1996-2000) and the Indians (2000-06).

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