Braves Sign Red Sox Slugger Nick Esasky
Free agent Nick Esasky of the Boston Red Sox today signed a three-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, a team that had been wanting the first baseman for years.
“He’s going to be a great addition to our ball club and our rise to the top,” vice president and general manager Bobby Cox said at a news conference announcing the signing.
“It was a decision that was long coming,” said Esasky, a Florida native who lives with his wife and three children in Marietta, Ga., a suburb north of Atlanta.
“I know there was talk for many years of me coming here,” Esasky said. “It never seemed to work out. I’m totally excited about coming here and playing.”
Esasky became one of the top prizes among this year’s free agent crop after batting .277 with 30 home runs and 108 RBIs for the Red Sox last season.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed, but it was believed to be a package worth $5.7 million over the three years--a $1.1 million signing bonus and salaries of $800,000 next season, $1.8 million in 1991 and $2 million in 1992.
Esasky ranked third in the American League in RBIs and fifth in home runs. He was fourth in slugging percentage at .500, sixth in extra-base hits with 61 and seventh in total bases with 282 in his first AL season.
“Nobody could be any happier than me,” Braves manager Russ Nixon said. “Nick and I go back quite a ways.”
Esasky made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 1983 when Nixon was managing the Reds.