Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Sign Jason Heyward for 2014-15

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“This is not the contract extension you are looking for.”

But we’ll take it anyway – no doubt about it.

The Atlanta Braves have apparently decided that stability is more important than policy, and have reached agreement on a 2-year deal with young Jedi-knight Jason Heyward, (unusually) buying out the final two years of his arbitration privileges.

Financial terms have been disclosed as $13.3 million. David O’Brien (AJC) reports via twitter that there are “potential performance escalators that could increase” the 2015 salary.

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Analysis

As the arbitration figures were exchanged back on the 17th of January, the Braves and Heyward’s representative were closest in separation of the three unsigned players (Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel). The Braves had offered $5.2 million vs. $5.5 million from Jason’s side. In 2013, the two sides had agreed to a deal for $3.65 million, so these numbers actually represented a fairly modest increase.

Jason had difficulty staying on the field in 2013, thanks to matters in which he had little control: appendicitis and a fastball to the jaw. This had been the case in other seasons during to nagging injuries: 142 games in 2010, 128 in 2011. Nonetheless, he had posted fWAR numbers that have left Braves’ fans wanting more: 4.7, 2.0, 6.4 and 3.4. They’ll have it: for at least 2 more years.

At this point, I will be guessing at the contract breakdown: if the $5.5 million figure was accepted (not unreasonable in general, nor unreasonable as a means to entice Heyward’s camp to sign), then Year 2 of the deal would come out to $7.8 million (not counting those “performance escalators”). That’s a solid number for both sides.

UPDATE: We have some additional detail…

 

 

Okay: sounds like the guess was good: $5.5 million for 2014. What Jon Heyman is saying here is that Jason was handed a check for $1 million immediately after the ink dried. No word yet on the performance parameters, but it is starting to sound like this may be a tactic used to help the Braves reduce both cost and risk.

Gavin Floyd: $4m base salary; $4m additional possible based on number of starts.

Freddy Garcia: $1.25m base if he makes the team; more if he is a starter vs. a reliever.

This will be an interesting bit to follow as we go forward.

 

What It Also Means

No arbitration hearing = no baseline-setting precedents, no arguing next year, no… anything further. This gives the Braves predictability; it gives Jason security.

I will also submit that such an amicable conclusion might also suggest A New Hope for further/future years beyond 2015 with our laser-armed Gold Glove right-fielder. We’ll see – but today is now a good day for Braves’ fans.

 

Reaction From Jason

 

 

 

 

About that ‘File-and-Trial’ Policy?

 

In other words, it’s strict until we carve out an exception (*wink*). That’s okay. We’re good with it.

 

>> WE MAY NOT BE DONE TODAY… stayed tuned.

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Tags: Arbitration Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward

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