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.