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.
UPDATE: Rosenthal is now walking the report back a bit, saying that indications that the Yankees and Happ are close to a deal but that it is not yet done.
10:29 AM: Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and J.A. Happ have come to terms on a three-year deal. The agreement is pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known.
Happ just turned 36, but he has been effective enough to warrant a three-year commitment. The Yankees know this as well as anyone, having acquired him last year and watched him post a 7-0 record and a 2.69 ERA in 11 starts in New York. For the entire season he was 17-6 with a 3.65 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 193/51 in 177.2 innings between the Yankees and the Blue Jays.
With Happ back in the fold, the Yankees rotation now consists of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Happ, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia, not necessarily in that order. A good group, assuming it stays healthy.