The Jason Heyward trade makes sense for the Braves if they don’t feel like they could sign him long term. It makes far less sense if it was realistic for them to extend him. So, of course, we have some dueling quotes about that in the aftermath. First from Jason Heyward, talking about his mindset following his last go-around in arbitration:
“I wanted our next conversation to be about me possibly being in Atlanta for a long time. And that conversation never came about. So I took it as, that’s not what they wanted to happen.”
“He wanted a two-year deal and wasn’t interested in a long-term extension unless the dollars were maybe beyond where the club certainly wanted to go. We had a strong feeling he was going to go on the market. That’s what he wanted to do. We wanted to protect ourselves and position ourselves better.”
This is probably each side talking past each other. I think Heyward is right that, if the Braves wanted to do a long term deal, it was incumbent upon them to approach him, and he said they hadn’t. At the same time, the Braves front office didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, and after doing multiple long-term deals with young players like Freddie Freeman, if they had any sense that Heyward would be willing to do something like that, they likely would’ve pressed the matter.
Doesn’t matter what anyone wants now, though. He gone.