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Braves Cut Ties With Lockhart

January 8, 2003

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Atlanta Braves didn’t agree to a contract with second baseman Keith Lockhart by Wednesday’s deadline, ending his six-year tenure with the team.

The Braves had until midnight to reach a deal with the 38-year-old Lockhart. Assistant general manager Frank Wren said the team decided that it has enough depth at second base with Mark DeRosa and Marcus Giles.

``We like some of the young players we’ve got coming along,″ Wren said. ``We feel like we need to give them an opportunity.″

Lockhart joined the Braves in 1997 and spent most of his tenure as a utility infielder and pinch-hitter. Last season, he batted .216 with five homers and 32 RBIs.

Atlanta offered Lockhart arbitration on Dec. 7 and he rejected it 12 days later. He is ineligible to re-sign with the Braves until May 1.

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