Sep 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jason Heyward (22) is congratulated by first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 1/19

Atlanta Braves Save Themselves by Signing Ace Mike Minor

Rant Sports

The Atlanta Braves and Mike Minor have agreed to a one-year contract worth $3.85 million in order to avoid arbitration which may be one of the best decisions the team has made over this offseason. They most likely saved money by not letting a court decide on the salary.

In a breakout 2013 season for Minor, he stood as the ace on the staff after Tim Hudson suffered a broken ankle against the New York Mets. He held a 3.21 ERA while starting 32 games and pitching 204.2 innings. He struck out 181 players and only had 46 total walks while striking out eight men per nine innings he pitched. Numbers like this rarely earn numbers as low as $3.85 million, even for one year.

I can see the Braves wanting to see him post these numbers for at least another season before giving him any big money that many people believe he deserves. However, if the Braves aren’t careful, they could lose one of their best young pitchers and have to search for more talent. In the future, he could be a guy that could earn anywhere from $8-13 million a year if what he did last year remains the pitcher that we see. Minor has the stuff and talent to be a top of the rotation pitcher in Atlanta and was able to prove in the 2013 season that he was able to carry a staff.



5 Takeaways from Atlanta Braves Offseason Thus Far

Bleacher Report

It was a fairly quiet winter in Atlanta. The biggest news were the few fan favorites who left for other cities, and the future home of the Braves—Cobb County. There were a couple acquisitions that will help the Braves, but none that change the look of the club.

This calm offseason taught us a few things about the Atlanta Braves. From the financial issues to the bullpen, here is what we learned.



Braves plan to go to arbitration hearings with young stars


ATLANTA — After not taking a player to a salary-arbitration hearing since John Rocker in 2001, the Braves are set for hearings with three of their prominent young stars: Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward.

The Braves agreed to terms with Kris Medlen, Chris Johnson, Mike Minor and Jordan Schafer, but couldn’t reach agreements with Kimbrel, Freeman and Heyward before or after Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline for teams to come to terms with unsigned arbitration-eligible players or swap salary figures with them in preparation for hearings.

Teams are permitted to continue negotiations with players until the hearings, but the Braves are one of six or seven teams that have recently taken a firm stance of not negotiating with arbitration-eligible players after salary-swap day. So unless the players take what was offered by the Braves, there will be hearings.



League Wide Arbitration Numbers

Talking Chop

How Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel stack up against the rest of the league.

Below is a collection of players who will be heading into arbitration with their respective teams across the entire league. You can also look at the chart below here, which highlights Heyward, Freeman and Kimbrel. All values are listed in millions and the % difference is taken from the midpoint of the player and team.


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