As illustrated in our look at Craig Kimbrel and the rest of the arbitration candidates for the Atlanta Braves on Thursday, there are 7 players who are coming against a deadline on Friday afternoon. The first of them, however, has a confirmed contract with the team for 2014.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) January 17, 2014
Outfielder Jordan Schafer has reportedly agreed to a 1-year, $1.09 million contract with the team, avoiding what could have been a hotly-contested arbitration battle. The general consensus was that Schafer would land around $1 million for the season, and this one is generally unsurprising, despite the fact that it’s nearly a 200% pay increase from 2013.
In 2013, the 27-year-old Schafer got a lot more playing time than expected, thanks to B.J. Upton’s struggles, and he produced fairly effectively. In 265 plate appearances, he put up a batting line of .247/.331/.346, which isn’t particularly impressive, but he provides some cheap speed on the basepaths (22 steals) with solid defense at any of the 3 outfield spots.
Schafer was certainly the lowest-profile case between the seven arbitration-eligible players, but knocking one out without much of a fight (at least seemingly) is a good sign when looking forward at the other six players. Stay tuned as news breaks on the other candidates.