Seven names were filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday before the deadline. Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Jordan Schafer, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Chris Johnson all put their names in the pot.
This will/should make Braves General Manager Frank Wren’s hair turn more white as he has until Friday to exchange salary figures with the players in hope they see a range of money they prefer.
Atlanta has now made it known that they are a file-and-trial club. Mark Bowman explains what this means.
If an agreement is not reached within the next few days and salary figures are exchanged with a player on Friday, the club will immediately end negotiations and plan to go to an arbitration hearing during which that particular player’s 2014 salary will be determined.
The Braves will exchange salary figures with players to try and work out numbers by 1 p.m. Eastern on Friday or end negotiations and leave it to a hearing. The arbitration hearings will take place between February 1st and 21st.
Among the seven unsigned players, four of them are in their first year eligible for arbitration. These are Freeman, Schafer, Minor and Kimbrel.
Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution spoke on the Braves situation with Heyward being eligible and who they could resign
With only two years left until free agency, Heyward might be the least likely to sign long-term now. Kimbrel is seen as a risky long-term commitment as a reliever. But Freeman and shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who is at least a year away from being arbitration-eligible, seem the most likely candidates.
In the past few weeks, many have spoke up on the concern about the Braves right fielder, Jason Heyward, within the next two years. Some believe the Braves could offer a large contact with a multi-year deal but others feel deferentially. I’m a big fan of Heyward’s but this situation will get a little rocky. Freeman and Simmons will be the first priority but locking up JHey, in my book, would be up there on the list of things to do.
Though I’m sure the interest is there from the Braves front office, there has not yet been any attempt to do so. Atlanta approached Heyward with the possibility of a long term deal last year before but the discussion was abruptly halted. He did gain a $3.65 million salary as a first-time arbitration-eligible last year.
As the hours tick by, Wren and his entourage need to figure out these seven players situations.