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Atlanta Braves sign former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard to minor league contract
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In this Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015 file photo, Philadelphia Phillies pinch hitter Ryan Howard (6) heads to the dugout after striking out during a game against the Miami Marlins in Miami. - photo by Alan Diaz

NEW YORK — Free agent slugger Ryan Howard has reached a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves, hoping for another chance to play in the majors.

The 37-year-old Howard wasn’t signed by the Philadelphia Phillies after last season. The Braves made the deal Thursday.
Howard will report to extended spring training next week. The first baseman will then join Triple-A Gwinnett when he’s ready.

Howard hit .196 with 25 home runs and 59 RBIs in 112 games last year. The 2006 NL MVP is a three-time All-Star and has 382 career homers, all with the Phillies.

The Braves were shut out by the New York Mets on opening day before coming back to beat them 3-1 in 12 innings Wednesday night.

Atlanta already has star Freddie Freeman at first base, but could be looking for some pop off the bench.

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