We learned from the Atlanta Braves official Twitter account, this morning at approximately 8:30 AM central time, that Craig Kimbrel and the Braves have agreed to terms on a four year contract, avoiding arbitration.
The #Braves have agreed to terms with @kimbrel46 on a four-year contract, avoiding salary arbitration. (https://twitter.com/Braves/status/435059607569170432)
Certainly Braves’ fans all across Braves’ country will utter a collective (or almost collective) sigh of relief, and most fans seemed to feel losing Kimbrel would have been a huge loss. Not all Braves’ fans felt that way though, and some of us at Tomahawk Take had a different opinion. We’ve expressed some of our opinions and these possibilities, with a recent article by Alan Carpenter on the possible outcomes of Kimbrel’s case, and I argued around two months ago for trading Kimbrel. However you feel, the argument can certainly be made that it’s good for the Braves to have finally settled with Craig.
With recent long-term contract extensions for Freddie Freeman and Julio Teheran, it appears the Braves are certainly willing to push some financial boundaries in an effort to have a successful 2014 and beyond. Many fans, including myself, were nervous about the cost of Kimbrel (never mind other extensions), and feel that there were other less costly options. Frank Wren felt differently though, and has indicated that he felt closing the case on Kimbrel was important. According to tweets by David O’Brien, Wren said…
#Braves Wren: “I’m not in the camp that says anybody can close games.”
#Braves Wren: ‘We’re thrilled that Craig’s going to be here for at least the next 4 years, and we’re pretty confident it’s going to be 5.”
I’m personally a little shocked that the Braves closed this deal, but recent moves by the Braves would seem to indicate they are deadly serious about doing whatever it takes to get the job done. I’ll let other analysts start working on the implications of this deal (math, costs, payroll, etc), but the particulars of the deal are that Kimbrel was signed to a four year deal (plus a 1 year option) worth $42 million, with a potential max value (incentives) of $58 million! Tweets from David O’Brien and Mark Bowman fill in the details…
Kimbrel gets $42M guaranteed, as 1st reported by @jaysonst , and there are escalators/incentives that can push it lot higher. (https://twitter.com/ajcbraves/status/435066141753368576)
Kimbrel’s deal is guaranteed to be for four years and $42 million. Potential Max value is five years and $58 million. (https://twitter.com/mlbbowman/status/435065259632889857)
Certainly, we’ll learn a few more details about the deal, and we’ll have plenty more to say about the implications in the coming days, but shocked, saddened, happy, or filled with glee, most fans are certainly happy to no longer have this particular case hanging over Braves’ Country. What’s your take on the details of the Kimbrel deal? Love it? Hate it? Just glad it’s over? Let us know how you feel.