Braves Sign Jason Heyward To Two-Year Deal

11:35am: Heyman tweets the financial breakdown of the contract: Heyward receives a $1MM signing bonus, a $4.5MM salary in 2014 and a $7.8MM salary in 2015.

10:34am: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (via Twitter) that Heyward's deal also contains performance escalators that could boost the value of his contract's second year.

Meanwhile, Wren tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman that the club still has a strict "file and trial" policy, but it doesn't apply to multi-year deals (Twitter link). In other words, they won't continue to negotiate one-year deals with Freeman or Kimbrel from this point forward, but extensions could still be reached. That approach is typical of many file and trial clubs.

10:08am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that Heyward's deal will pay him $13.3MM over the next two seasons.

10:00am: The Braves have issued a press release to announce the signing of right fielder Jason Heyward to a two-year contract. The contract, which covers the 2014-15 seasons, prevents Heyward and the Braves from going to an arbitration hearing. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Braves.

Heyward, a client of Excel Sports Management, exchanged arbitration figures with the Braves last month. The 24-year-old former All-Star filed for a $5.5MM salary, while the Braves countered at $5.2MM. The gap between the two sides may seem small, but this is extension serves as a reminder that "file and trial" teams such as the Braves may still be open to negotiating multi-year deals after exchanging figures. This gives the Braves and their fans hope that the potential hearings for closer Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman can be similarly avoided.

"Jason is an important part of our organization and we’re glad that we were able to agree on a multi-year contract," said general manager Frank Wren within the release.

Though Heyward has never matched the on-base skills he displayed in his outstanding rookie season (.277/.393/.456), and his power dipped from 2012 to 2013 (27 homers/.210 ISO vs. 14 homers/.173 ISO), Heyward consistently turns in solid offensive contributions and elite defense in the outfield.

This new contract buys out his final two years of arbitration eligibility, meaning he's on track to become a free agent heading into his age-26 season. Cases such as that are so rare in today's world of extensions, that Heyward is poised to be one of the most coveted free agents in recent history should he stay healthy and not sign a further extension.


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11 Comments on "Braves Sign Jason Heyward To Two-Year Deal"


Alpez16
1 year 6 months ago

Hindsight..

1 year 6 months ago

What?

dwarfcatt
1 year 6 months ago

Steve Adams wins this round…

Chad Johnson
1 year 6 months ago

Upton might resign in Atlanta for a team friendly deal, I think Heyward will leave.

DMiles5149
1 year 6 months ago

Why do people just look at WAR and say this guy’s good. I get people use the stat nowadays (which I think is absurd) but it doesn’t just automatically mean a guy’s a great player. If so, that means you think (contract aside) that Brandon Belt is a lot better than Adrian Gonzalez. I don’t really see it that way. And I think there’s a stat that means a lot more than WAR. Postseason hitting. Heyward’s 6 for 40. Not to mention he strikes out a ton and in the Postseason, that’s usually a recipe for disaster.

Edit: Also, do you really think Matt Carpenter is better than Cano and Pedroia?

Double Edit: Holy smokes. Fangraphs says according to WAR Matt Carpenter is the 6th best position player in the league. You don’t really believe that do you? Zobrist better than Buster Posey? Come on.

Eric
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not a scout, and I only watch about half of the Cub’s games every year. Bias can really creep into my mind if I’m going to judge Heyward on the 3 games that I see him a year, and I’m not even sure I’ve seen Gordon. I would only feel mildly confident judging Cubs players because the Cub’s staff will know baseball way better than me, and they have more than just the games to judge a player on.

WAR is an objective stat, and it’s great for the casual fan. I’m sure there are a lot scouts who can really compare these guys, but for the average fan? I’m not going to watch game tape and write up a scouting report on Alex Gordon.

WAR isn’t perfect, but it’s a good barometer. The only alternative would be random guys on the internet giving scouting reports which is going to be much more flawed because of all sorts of bias.

DMiles5149
1 year 6 months ago

I’m not a huge fan of WAR but I understand people use it as a way to judge a player. And that’s fine. Who am I to say what to use? But there are some fans out there who believe it’s the end all be all to judging a player. I had one guy arguing that Stephen Drew is a top 5 SS in the league and was using WAR as his main argument. I couldn’t believe it.

LetsGoBucs92122
1 year 6 months ago

Surprised this was only two years. Must not have been able to agree on a longer term deal. Curious to see if they start working on one again this summer

burnboll
1 year 6 months ago

I am a big fan of Heyward! but he’s no sure thing to take the next step into superstardom.

I think the Braves are a bit hesitant to sign him to a long extension unless it’s a deal where they could live with Heyward not taking the next step.

burnboll
1 year 6 months ago

Choos primary skill, obp, is something that actually gets better the older the player get, to a certain point of course.

Heyward excels in other areas, that are more prone to break down as he ages.

burnboll
1 year 6 months ago

I’d trade Kimbrel if I was Wren.

Realistically, Kimbrel won’t get even better, so his value is maxed right now.

Sell high and get some quality prospects in return.