It’s a regular part of the off-season, though the lockout has messed with the usual timing. Still, the Atlanta Braves have a lot of work to get done today.
Today marks the date in which MLB teams must exchange arbitration figures with their arb-eligible players. The Atlanta Braves still have eight such players for which this is relevant.
Before the lockout began, Guillermo Heredia decided that he liked being around this group and came to an early agreement for a $1.0 million contract. Based on salary estimates, that also “saved” the Braves $600,000 in the process.
Last week, Mike Soroka agreed to maintain his $2.8 million salary from last year. That’s right in line with expectations, given his injured status.
Also last week, Matt Olson… well, you know how that went.
For the rest… today is a day of some reckoning. The Braves are — and most MLB teams now also have this policy — a “file and trial” team. Once the arbitration figures are exchanged, negotiations generally cease and both sides prepare for an arbitration hearing.
That’s going to be quite different this season since those trials will necessarily be conducted in-season. Normally, all of that would already have been completed by now.
Here’s the list of remaining Braves arbitration-eligible players, along with their service time and MLB Trade Rumors site salary projections:
- Adam Duvall (5.151) – $9.1MM
- Dansby Swanson (5.047) – $10.1MM
- Luke Jackson (5.019) – $3.8MM
- A.J. Minter (3.154) – $2.1MM
- Max Fried (3.148) – $7.1MM
- Sean Newcomb (3.123) – $900K
- Tyler Matzek (3.019) – $1.5MM
- Austin Riley (2.138) – $4.3MM
The process here is straightforward… at least in principle:
- Negotiations between the team and player continue… likely as we speak
- Each side has a salary number in mind that they want for the season
- If there is agreement on a number, a contract is established for that salary figure and the next steps are avoided.
- If not, both sides will then file with the league a salary figure that they believe they can successfully defend in arbitration. These may or may not be the figures they were negotiating toward.
- An arbitrator will then (later this Spring) listen to the cases of both sides and decide who wins. The winner gets their salary number for the year. No splitting the baby… it’s one number or the other.
Because the season will begin before any trials are conducted, any players failing to come to a contractual agreement today will be paid according to the lower (the team’s) figure until the outcome of the trial is known. Adjustments will be made if the team loses in court.
- MINTER agrees to $2.2 million salary. Source.
- RILEY and Braves fail to agree… arb trial to come. Source.
- NEWCOMB agrees to $900K. Source.
- MATZEK agrees to $1.4m. Source.
UPDATE 2: THE FILINGS (and for context, compare these to the estimates above)
- DUVALL: $10.275m vs. Braves at $1 million less
- FRIED: $6.85m vs. Braves at $250K less
- SWANSON: $10m vs. Braves at $800K less
- RILEY: $4.2 million vs. Braves at $250K less
No word on Luke Jackson as yet. All above sourced from Jon Heyman tweets.
- JACKSON: $4.0m vs. Braves at $400K less. Joel Sherman sourced.
All of our salary discussions up to this point had assumed more-or-less to be in line with the MLBTR numbers.
After today, we’ll have a better picture of the range of gains or losses the Braves will face from this portion of their (quite robust) 2022 payroll.