Seven Braves File For Arbitration With Atlanta

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Closer Craig Kimbrel.
Closer Craig Kimbrel.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

ATLANTA -- Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Chris Johnson and Jordan Schafer filed for salary arbitration before Tuesday's deadline. Now, the stage is set for each player and the club to exchange salary figures on Friday. 

The Braves have made it known that they are now a file-and-trial club. 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.

Less than a week before being traded to the Diamondbacks last year, Martin Prado was the only player to exchange figures with the Braves. Had he not been traded, Prado would have become the first Atlanta player to go to a hearing since John Rocker in 2001.

While many fans have wondered whether the Braves might attempt to lock up Heyward or Freeman with a long-term multiyear deal this winter, there has not yet been any attempt to do so. Atlanta approached Heyward with this possibility last year before the discussion was abruptly halted.

Among these Braves players, Kimbrel and Freeman are going to gain the most significant raises. This year marks the first they have been eligible for arbitration.

During the negotiations and potential hearing, Kimbrel will be compared to Jonathan Papelbon, who received a $6.25 million salary when he was arbitration-eligible for the first time with the Red Sox after the 2008 season. Kimbrel's salary is expected to rise from $655,000 to somewhere between $7 millon and $7.25 million.

Freeman, who finished fourth in this year's National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting, is expected to see his salary rise from $560,000 to the vicinity of $5 million.

Heyward gained a $3.65 million salary as a first-time arbitration-eligible last year. After missing two months this past season, he will likely receive a raise of approximately $1 million.

Medlen's value has risen significantly since he became a starting pitcher on a full-time basis on July 31, 2013. The 2.47 ERA he has since compiled ranks second only to Clayton Kershaw among all pitchers who have made at least 40 starts during this span. As a second-year arbitration-eligible, Medlen will likely double the $2.6 million salary he received this year.

It is safe to say Johnson will be receiving more than the Braves projected when they acquired him in the deal that also brought Justin Upton to Atlanta last year. After ranking second in the NL with a .321 batting average, Johnson could see the $2.29 million salary he received this past year move just above the $4 million mark.

Like Kimbrel and Freeman, Minor and Schafer are eligible for the arbitration process for the first time this year. Minor compiled enough service time to gain this status as a Super Two player. This means he will be eligible for arbitration for four years, one year more than the norm.

The Braves entered the offseason with 14 arbitration-eligible players and then opted to not tender contracts to Elliot Johnson, Cristhian Martinez, and former Lookout Paul Janish. They further whittled that list down by reaching agreements with Jordan Walden, Jonny Venters, Brandon Beachy, and Ramiro Pena.  

----- Source: MLB.com

Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt

PHOTOS: Sights Of Orange & White Fan Day

Cleveland State Tops Roane State 10-7

Cleveland State heads to the post season victorious after a high scoring regular season finale against Roane State. Leftfielder Connor Coakley drove in four runs on a homer and single helping the Cougars take the 10-7 win.  First baseman Caleb Longley added a two run homer in the bottom of the sixth.   Cleveland State (22-20, 9-17) trailed the Raiders 7-4 entering ... (click for more)

State Attorney General Says City Council Cannot Make Taxis Not Registered In Hamilton County Go Through Emissions Testing

The state attorney general's office has ruled that the City Council cannot require that taxis not registered in Hamilton County go through emissions testing. The city is dealing with the new Uber taxi service that has an out-of-town owner. Locally-owned cabs have to go through the annual emissions testing. The opinion says that local taxi owners cannot get around the emissions ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Bracing For Possibility Of Isolated Severe Storms, Tornadoes Not Ruled Out

The National Weather Service is feeling uncertain about today's weather pattern and has not ruled out the possibility of isolated, severe thunderstorms or an isolated tornado in our area. The greatest threat seems to be between 4 and 7 p.m. this evening. Below is the latest update: HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK...UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN 127 PM EDT SAT ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: FBI To Study ‘Lickers’

About 25 years ago there was a terrifying movie called “The Silence of the Lambs.” It was so good it won the Academy Awards in all five categories – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay. Further, Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster were brilliant, but do you remember the third “star?” Scott Glenn played a character named “Jack Crawford,” the ... (click for more)