According to Mark Bowman of MLB.com, "there is a growing belief" that the Braves will not be able to avoid arbitration with Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur's hearing is currently scheduled for Friday, February 20. He requested a salary of $3.95MM and the Braves countered with $2.8MM. Bowman does a fine job explaining the Braves' thinking:
Simply making an uncomfortable salary concession to avoid having to air dirty laundry in front of an arbitrator would further diminish the available funds Braves general manager Frank Wren is attempting to utilize while satisfying his roster needs.
Francoeur, 25, hit just .239/.294/.359 with 11 home runs and 71 RBI in 599 at-bats last season.