The Atlanta Braves have until Friday to come to an agreement with seven players or proceed into the arbitration process. Friday is the deadline for teams and players who are arbitration eligible to submit salary figures.
Essentially, players submit a salary figure that they believe they are worth making and the team counters with a number of their own. Both sides can continue to negotiate after filing salary figures but more and more teams are adopting a file-and-trial approach to put more pressure on players to sign and avoid the arbitration process. Many arbitration eligible players will come to an agreement before exchanging salary figures.
The Braves entered the offseason with eight arbitration eligible players but reliever Jonny Venters agreed to a one-year, $2.25 million deal at the non-tender deadline avoiding arbitration.
Here is a closer look at Atlanta’s seven arbitration eligible players.
The Braves acquired Gausman from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline. He pitched well down the stretch and Atlanta is hoping they can further unlock his potential in 2019. He is in his third year of arbitration and is under team control through the end of the 2020 season. MLB Trade Rumors projects Gausman for a big pay day in arbitration at $9.2 million.
Foltynewicz and the Braves went to arbitration in 2018 with just $100,000 difference in their offers. Folty took a huge step forward for the team in 2018 emerging as the defacto ace of the rotation He is in his second year of arbitration and is under team control through the 2021. MLB Trade Rumors projects a $5.5 million salary for Foltynewicz in 2019.
Atlanta tendered a contract to Vizcaino despite persistent shoulder troubles in 2018. When he was healthy, Vizcaino pitched well but it remains to be seen whether or not he can be counted on for a full workload. He is in his final year of arbitration and will be a free agent at the end of the season. MLB Trade Rumors projects a $4.8 million salary for Vizcaino.
Duvall is another player that seemed to be on the non-tender bubble. Atlanta acquired him from Cincinnati at the trade deadline in hopes that he would be able to give their lineup some punch against left-handed pitching. However, he struggled in a part time role going 7-for-53 in 33 games in an Atlanta uniform. Duvall won’t become a free agent until 2022 and MLB Trade Rumors projects him for a $3.1 million salary in 2019.
Winkler has overcome a lot of injuries during his tenure in a Braves uniform and put together a solid 2018 season out of the bullpen despite appearing to wear down late. He will be entering his second year of arbitration and is under team control through 2020. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $1.6 million through arbitration.
Freeman’s put up a bumpy 2018 season but finished strong yet was still left off the team’s postseason roster. Freeman averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings but was his own worst enemy as his walk rate jumped significantly. He looked like a candidate to get non-tendered so it will be interesting to see if things get pushed to arbitration. Freeman is under team control through 2020 and is projected to make $1.5 million in 2019.
Culberson was a feel good story in 2018 as part of the Matt Kemp trade. He filled a utility role for the team and was the starting shortstop in the postseason due to Dansby Swanson’s injured wrist. Culberson came up with several big hits for the Braves in 2018 and was very popular among his teammates and the coaching staff. He is under team control through 2021 and is projected for a $1.4 million salary.