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

UTC Women Drop Matches To Air Force, Tennessee

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team gutted out a 4-3 win over Air Force in Knoxville, Tenn., today.  The Mocs split two duals on their trip, falling 4-0 at Tennessee in the second match. The Air Force bout was full of drama in both singles and doubles action.  It came down to a three-setter at No. 5 singles that senior Rachele Gazzola won ... (click for more)

Mocs Tennis Team Falls To No. 6 North Carolina 6-0

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's tennis team dropped a 6-0 match at No. 9 North Carolina today.  The Tar Heels (4-0) swept all of the action as the Mocs dropped to 0-2 against a tough schedule.    "I want to congratulate Coach Paul and his Tar Heels on their impressive victory," stated UTC head coach Carlos Garcia.  "They make you work for ... (click for more)

Alabama Man Faces Murder Charge In Shooting Death At Bradley County Landfill

An investigation by  s pecial agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of an Alabama man in a shooting death that occurred last fall at the Bradley County landfill.   At the request of 10 th  District Attorney General Steve Crump, last Sept. 8 TBI special agents began investigating a shooting death that occurred that ... (click for more)

Man Shot In East Lake Winds Up Facing Several Criminal Charges

Police said a man who was shot on Sunday morning in East Lake was assaulting the woman who shot him and others immediately before the gunfire.   Police said 29-year-old Latesha Hinton would not be charged in the shooting of Dieshunn Lindsey, 30. At approximately  10:50 a.m.,  officers with the Chattanooga Police Department responded to the 2700 block of ... (click for more)

Proud Of Chattanooga And The Women's March

I was very happy to participate in the Women’s March on Chattanooga yesterday afternoon. The diversity and the sheer numbers of women, men and children were incredible. One estimate was at least 3,000. Standing together with all of these like-minded souls was overwhelming and humbling.  I have rarely been so happy and so proud of my town.  One question is, why is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jumoke’s Thuggery Ends

Jumoke Johnson, the most notorious criminal in Chattanooga’s recent history, was killed by a rain of bullets in the 2100 block of East 12 th Street at little after 8 o’clock Friday night and for the many of us who have kept up with the 23-year-old, you wonder how he ever lasted this long. He was aptly proclaimed as the “most dangerous man” to ever have been sentenced in Chattanooga’s ... (click for more)