News is flying fast, and the Atlanta Braves are locking up some of their best available talent for the 2014 season. Earlier in the day, we brought you word that Jordan Schafer and Kris Medlen agreed to avoid arbitration with 1-year contracts, and now, a third player has reportedly done the same.
The #Braves have avoided arbitration with Chris Johnson. Financial terms have not yet been revealed.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 17, 2014
Mark Bowman brought first indication of the fact that Chris Johnson has signed for 2014, and it’s not a surprise that he’s agreed to a deal. Johnson was a revelation in 2013, hitting a robust .321/.358/.457 in 547 plate appearances, and it was a virtual certainty that he’d receive a nice bump in salary, regardless of whether he settled or advanced to actual mediation.
Then, David O’Brien of the AJC brought financial details (later confirmed by Bowman, also):
#Braves C. Johnson gets $4.75 million for 2014
— David O’Brien (@ajcbraves) January 17, 2014
In 2013, Johnson made $2.88 million, and while this isn’t quite the 200% increase that Schafer received, it is certainly close. Johnson enters 2014 as the no-doubt choice as the everyday third baseman for the first time (remember Juan Francisco?) and he’ll have every opportunity to prove himself worthy of a long-term deal. Many are divided on Johnson due to his well-chronicled BABIP luck (.394 last season) and his lackluster defensive ability, but there’s little doubt that he can hit at this level, and it’ll be nice to see him at third base again.
Stay tuned for word on the “big guns”, as Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, and Mike Minor still haven’t agreed to deals as of this post.