Braves Remaining Arb Players

The Atlanta Braves three remaining arbitration eligible players are Jeff Francoeur, Kelly Johnson, and Casey Kotchman; for each of them this is their first year of arbitration. Kelly and Casey are pretty close to the Braves numbers, but Francoeur is not. Mark Bowman says it best:

Coming off the most disappointing season of his young career, Jeff Francoeur knows that he won't be making as much money as he'd previously envisioned during his first arbitration-eligible season.

But like Kelly Johnson and Casey Kotchman, Francoeur feels that he deserves more than the Braves are currently offering.

Here are the breakdowns:

Player Player Arb Figure Team Arb Figure Difference
Jeff Francoeur $3.95 mil $2.8 mil $1.15 mil
Kelly Johnson $3.3 mil $2.35 mil $950 k
Casey Kotchman $3.25 mil $2.475 mil $775 k

All are pretty close, around a million or so apart, but it's still surprising to see Francoeur asking for that much. That's more than Brian McCann's $3.5 mil already agreed upon salary this year. With that in mind and the gross overshooting on the side of Francoeur (or his agent), I don't think he'd win his arbitration hearing, unless the arbiter has a blind spot to 2008.

I expect Kelly and Casey will be able to reach an agreement with the Braves on a contract, but I'd be surprised if the Braves reach an agreement with Francoeur. The vast difference in their submitted arbitration numbers shows two different realities that will be hard to overcome.

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