Braves, Jason Heyward reach a two-year deal avoiding arbitration

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The Braves have announced that they have avoided arbitration with Jason Heyward by agreeing to a two-year deal. Jon Heyman reports that the deal is for $13.3 million.

In addition to being a smart move — Heyward is a key player and the sides were only $300K apart based on submitted arbitration numbers — it’s a somewhat surprising one. The Braves are one of the most notable “file and trial” teams in baseball, with a heretofore strict team policy that they will not negotiate once arbitration figures are submitted. They obviously negotiated here, much to their credit.

The next question is what this means for Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel, who also face arbitration hearings. Freeman and the Braves are not as far apart as are the Braves and Kimbrel, so I’d guess that, at best, Freeman gets locked up before next week’s hearings.

Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.