October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) reacts after the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves exchange arbitration offers with Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, and Craig Kimbrel

Shortly after it became clear that the Braves would be heading to arbitration with three of their top-tier players, the final numbers were exchanged between the team and the respective representation. As expected, the biggest gap came for Atlanta’s closer, Craig Kimbrel.

Kimbrel was the centerpiece of our arbitration “preview”, and for all of the reasons discussed there (his incredible stats, age, lack of precedent), his arb. case is incredibly interesting. That sets the stage for the 2 sides to be a whopping $2.45 million apart, and frankly, I don’t remember ever seeing a difference lack that with a player this early in their MLB service time.

Of course, Kimbrel wasn’t alone in turning down the Braves offer, as the “big two” offensive players are still on the market.

Neither Jason Heyward nor Freddie Freeman is a surprising arrival on this list, as both situations were rumored to be sketchy (at best), but on the bright side, neither difference is terribly great. It’s a bit of a surprise to see Heyward fail to settle with only $300,000 on the table, but at the same time, he’s barely made any “real” money in the bigs, and perhaps giving in to the Braves would set a tone that his representation wasn’t comfortable with.

In the meantime, Braves fans will play a “waiting game” on all 3 players, as the Braves are notoriously unwilling to negotiate during this down period. Stay tuned for any breaking news as it happens, but it could become awfully quiet in Braves country for a while.

Tags: Atlanta Braves Craig Kimbrel Freddie Freeman Jason Heyward

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