I’ve been on record that Braves fans should prepare to bid adieu to Jay Hey and Freddie, and Friday’s news that the team is headed to arbitration hearings with their offensive core (along with Craig Kimbrel) doesn’t bode well for contract extensions.
FW told DOB Friday night, “We’re done” with negotiations. standing behind the team’s newly adopted “file and trial” philosophy. To what end? Forget this year — the team should be doing all they can to sign them long-term, but that doesn’t appear to be a priority. DOB says there have yet to be any discussions with Heyward or Freeman about long-term contracts.
I’ll be shocked if either is still a Brave come 2017, when Pascual Perez Memorial Stadium opens. Especially Heyward, who asked for only $300,000 more than management offered.
As Jeff Schultz writes, “Teams do not like going to arbitration. They’re forced to accentuate negatives to win their case.” The Braves haven’t had a hearing since 2001, and that was with John Rocker. We wanted him to feel unwanted.
If the Braves underachieve this year, they should explore trading Jay Hey, a free agent after 2015. That, or risk getting nothing but a draft pick in return for their homegrown star.