Two of the Braves’ remaining arbitration situations have been resolved. As first reported by the Associated Press, Dansby Swanson has won his case and will receive a $10MM salary. Adam Duvall, meanwhile, will make $9.275MM after losing his case. Both players will reach free agency after this season, as this was the final trip through the arb process for each.
Swanson and the Braves had an $800K dispute, with the team filing at $9.2MM. That came on the heels of a .248/.311/.449 showing last year, in which the shortstop started 158 regular season games. Swanson hit 27 home runs and drove in 88 runners, and he’ll be rewarded with a $4MM pay bump over that season’s $6MM salary in spite of the pedestrian batting average and on-base marks.
Duvall, meanwhile, blasted a career-high 38 homers in 146 games split between the Marlins and Braves. He only hit .228 with a meager .281 OBP, but the 33-year-old tied for fourth in Major League Baseball with 113 runs batted in. Duvall also claimed his first career Gold Glove Award for his work in right field, leading him to forego his end of a $7MM mutual option for the 2022 campaign. That was an easy call, as the Braves tendered him an arbitration contract, and he’ll make a fair bit more money than the option price even after losing at his hearing. Duvall’s camp had been seeking a $10.125MM salary, so he’ll land $1MM shy of his goal.
Of course, the differences in the 2022 campaigns for Swanson and Duvall are striking. The former is hitting at arguably a career-best level, carrying a .279/.348/.428 slash line and positioning himself well for a lucrative multi-year contract next winter. Duvall, on the other hand, has stumbled to a personal-worst .199/.260/.309 and has hit just three homers through 54 games.
The players’ respective performances this year are not supposed to play any role in the arbitrators’ decisions. The hearings are typically conducted over the offseason, but the lockout caused unsettled cases to linger into the season. Nevertheless, the cases presented are to be determined based on the players’ pre-2022 track records, their platform salaries and the performance of previous players in their respective service buckets.
Swanson and Duvall were two of five Atlanta players not to come to terms with the team before going to a hearing. The Braves won cases over both third baseman Austin Riley and reliever Luke Jackson earlier this year. Starter Max Fried still has a pending hearing, with a modest gap between the sides’ respective $6.85MM and $6.6MM filings.