Apparently the Braves haven’t talked to Jason about a long-term deal

From a Valentine’s Day story by Peanut:

[Terry McGuirk said:] “Money is not going to stand between us and getting it done at this point because we are that close. I’m talking about [the] long term and short term. I’m talking about talent that is here and talent that isn’t here. When we are this close, we are going to try to push it over the top. But there is a lot of talent here.”

The Braves could use a portion of the $10-12 million they have remaining to spend this year on any needs that could arise between now and the Trade Deadline. But they will likely first attempt to use some of the funds to lock up some of their young talent.

The Braves are expected to attempt to buy out some of the arbitration years remaining for their prized right fielder Jason Heyward, who will make $3.65 million as a first-year arbitration-eligible player this year. His salary for this season could increase slightly if he agrees to a contract that would provide him insurance, and provide the team certainty beyond 2015 — his final arbitration-eligible season.

As of Thursday, the Braves had not yet approached Heyward about the possibility of a multi-year contract.

Gosh, call me naive, but maybe they should consider approaching Heyward about the possibility of a multi-year contract. After all, this guy is a backup outfielder:

102 thoughts on “Apparently the Braves haven’t talked to Jason about a long-term deal”

  1. @1, There has to be a more mature way of saying that. Or maybe the problem is with me. I didn’t mind when Fredi publicly called him out (even though I probably would have had a different reaction if he was calling out, say, Kimbrel or Venters), and now I’m not really accepting his excuse. Even if he had said, “I’m sorry about not showing up to camp until now, I had some family matters to attend to” (which is basically what he just said), I probably would be giving him crap about using twitter to say it.

    Thank Hap for the edits.

  2. It’s the self-righteous tone he adopts. Clearly, he realizes that he can’t stand up to his boss so instead he’s passive-aggressive on Twitter. The problem is that Schafer has had some maturity issues for a while, and this plays into that. Obviously, family is important. But the team clearly felt that he was not making baseball a high enough priority.

    It’s obviously a balance. But Schafer needs to realize that he’s the only person who can address his problems on the baseball field, and he needs to be a man about his responsibilities off the field.

  3. I would die and go to heaven if those “family matters” involved emmastone and the stalking of Schafer’s sister.

    Unfortunately, he was probably just stoned and got caught up in watching a marathon of the show Family Matters.

  4. Maybe the reason they haven’t talked to Jason about extending is that they are afraid of the answer. In reality its probably in his best interests to let this season play out, right?

  5. @9, It’s really inconceivable to me that there is a significant chance that Heyward has already played half the games he will in a Braves uniform. Heyward -not Freeman, not McCann, not Medlen not Kimbrel- is currently the face of the franchise and probably will be going forward. It would be embarrassing if a team that gave Dan Uggla $12 million and Derek Lowe $15 million would not be willing to extend him because of payroll issues.


    I would do that in a heartbeat, even if it is nearly $18 million/year. Something like 7/$105 may be a better fit, but who knows. And to add to that, the price will be lower today than it will be a year from now.

  6. Prediction – Schafer will be designated for assignment and then released at the end of spring training. Nothing to do with showing up “late”. It’s inexplicable to me that we reacquired him in the first place, given that he’d done nothing with the Astros except further cement the glaring limitations that caused him to wash out here once already (the fact that he seems to still be the same unlikable brat doesn’t help explain things either). So the only rationale I can think of is they’re doing him a favor out of some sense of organizational loyalty by giving him some exposure so that he might catch on someplace else.

  7. I think it was just a nothing-to-lose move they made before they knew exactly how the OF situation was going to shake out, when it was still within the realm of possibility that he’d be the fourth- or fifth-best option out there.

  8. I’m willing to grant Schaefer all kinds of concessions for bad behavior because I love the nickname “Success” so much.

    I try not to indulge in irony too much, but for him I will make an exception. Success!

  9. It must have been a strangely importantly, but easily resolved family issue, if it didn’t allow Schafer the time to call Fredi and tell him he wasn’t going to be early but still allowed him to show up to camp on time.

  10. Sweet! Just found out Braves are doing a Freeman bobble head this year. ;-) His head screams to be bobbled IMHO.

  11. We’re really spending a lot of time caring about this tweet….

    Let’s hurry up and get some spring training games going, yeah?

  12. I wonder if/where Joe Leonard fits into the org’s plans moving forward. He’s younger than I had thought, entering AAA at age 24 isn’t so bad for a college player who’s major league ready defensively. He could be a good platoon partner for Juan considering his top skill seems to be defense and the fact that he’s a RH hitter.

  13. Johna Keri makes an interesting point that I think we all know if we think about it but isn’t at the forefront of our minds.

    The Braves offense isn’t particularly likely to be better than last year’s. Jupton should be better than Prado, and Bupton could be better than Bourne. But it’s unlikely that the difference there will overshadow the drop from Chipper to Francisco & co. If the Braves’ offense is to get better, it’ll have to be from McCann and Uggla bouncing back and Freeman and Heyward improving. And they’re going to have to improve a lot to make up for the loss of Chipper.

    The real potential upside (and downside?) is the rotation. It felt like the Braves had maybe 3 good starters for most of last year until Sheets and then Medlen did their things. This year, there’s no sheets, and we’ll be lucky to get half a year out of Beachy. It’s basically Teheran or bust for the 5th starter’s spot, and there’s a reasonable chance that both Hudson and Maholm regress. As for Medlen, it’s inevitable that he regresses at least some, and it’s likely that Minor will be something between his first and second halves (though much closer to the second half, IMO). So there’s a lot of room for the rotation to go sideways or backwards, even if Teheran is serviceable.

  14. @21 CJ played 120 games last year and AS played about 60. The combined production from 3B and SS will likely improve

  15. On one hand, I’ve been worried about replacing the production and more importantly number of quality AB of the teams 3 best AVG hitters with The Uptons, Juan and Chris. On the other hand, the UPtons alone will probably be good for 50 to 60 HRs. In addition to McCann and Uggla likely having better years, we’ll also be seeing a full season of Simmons. Think of how many Pastornicky, Janish and Jack Wilson defensive innings and ABs could be replaced with the superior ‘Drell. I agree with the idea that the rotation is potentially made up of 3 or 4 strong regression candidates, but disagree about te importance of JT to this staff. Graham, Rodroguez and Gilmartin could all make strong pushes for that rotation spot.

  16. I would be shocked if we got more production out of the left side of our IF than we did last year. Then again, I don’t have much confidence in Simmons hitting better than .270/.310/.370.

    Which, BTW, I’m fine with.

  17. Ya know, for some reason I keep getting the sense that Freeman is the key to the season.

    He seems to have a knack for timely hitting and after every successful series last year, it seemed Freddie was a key component.

  18. @21, I don’t know. People keep talking about Chipper as if he had a sudden remarkable transformation into 1999 Chipper. He was only worth 3 WAR last year. He and Francisco combined were responsible for 3.8 WAR last year, while Chris Johnson had 1.7 and will probably be worth 2.0 if given the full year. Here’s something a little more important: The Braves were dead last in 2012 in SS production. They had .1 WAR; the next closest team were the Brewers with 1.1 wins above replacement. Even if Simmons gets just 3.0 WAR (completely reasonable given his defensive value), the left side of the infield will improve by a win.

    They got 3.5 WAR out of catcher last year, a number I’m willing to bet McCann touches if he’s healthy (yes, this is an ‘if’, but it’s much more likely than him getting hurt and playing this badly again).

    They were 22nd in production out of 1B with .6 WAR (Hinske and Lyle Overbay are credited with -1.4 WAR whereas Freeman had 2.0). I’m more than willing to bet that improves, even if Freeman just settles into a 3.0 WAR player.

    Outfield is a question (16.7 WAR in 2012), but Heyward (6.6 Wins) isn’t going to get worse. If BJ produces just his career average over 162 games (not likely, as this includes everything he’s done in the MLB since he was 20), he should be worth about 4 wins. Upton, when finally fully healthy in September/October last year, hit 133 wRC+ (similar to his 139 wRC+ in his 6.4 WAR 2011 season), which wasn’t a BABIP fluke (.312, career .335). You can take a win away here, but you could easily add a couple, too, if you’re banking on the improvement of the three outfielders.

    That bullpen could conceivably improve from last year. I think that you’re completely right about the rotation for this year, with a solid bet on it being average (17th in WAR last year, probably similar this year).

    For me, none of this explains why the Braves are going to be 8 whole wins worse than last year. I’m not saying this as a homer, but because it would really take an enormous amount of ill luck to push them into 81-83 win territory. Similarly, a great run could make them a 100-win team. When all is said and done, I think the book on the 2013 Braves is going to be about how teams become successful when their star players come back from injury. That 86-win prediction from Vegas is purely for betting purposes. Vegas likes to choose lines that produce the most action on both sides of the over and under. Nobody likes to bet on Atlanta, and had Vegas set the line for 90 wins, they’d probably get way too much action on the under.

  19. Also, given all this leftover money, I’m pretty disappointed that we didn’t give Ross another contract.

  20. I wouldn’t expect improvement of the left side of tue infield either. I do believe that a full seasom of Simmons should provide an upgrade at SS over the course of the season though. Wren took some chances that I’m not sure we’d have seen JS take.

  21. I feel better about our pitching this year, but depth is definitely an issue. Starting the year with Medlen, Hudson, Maholm, Minor, and Teheran (and Beachy waiting in the wings) seems to be a better bet than last year’s Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Jurrjens, and Delgado/Teheran/Minor with Medlen in coming in at mid-season.

  22. Heyward, Jupton and Freeman could all have breakout years. It’s a formidable lineup core as is, but if those three all happen to take that last step forward the same year, this lineup could be horrifying. The second wave of power is nice too, Beej, McCann and Uggla would have been the offensive core of the 2010.

  23. desert @28 – absofreakinglutely. I was thinking the same thing myself.

    Did Ross even give the Braves a chance to match? Or did the Braves basically say this is our offer take it or leave it?

  24. @30, Haha, I’m not so sure if it’s an endorsement of your prediction if I arrived at the same conclusion…

    @32, Yeah. I mean, even if ‘taking a step forward’ just means ‘not playing injured’ this year, that section of the lineup could still be horrifying to opposing pitchers. If they all somehow do manage to take moderate steps forward (thinking that they all add .5 WAR to their best seasons; that would put Heyward at 7.1 WAR, J Upton at 6.9 WAR, and BJ Upton at 5.5 Wins), the outfield could be the best non-Trout since the Cards’ Edmonds, Pujols, and Drew in 2003.

  25. Yeah, we would essentially have had to double his salary. Given the iffiness of our catcher situation, you could almost justify it. But IIRC Ross did his best work as a spot starter, and his production would suffer when we asked much more of him.

  26. Y’all get too caught up in WAR. My current forecast is 162-0. No one can prove to me that this is impossible. This is at least guaranteed to get us past the Wild Card round, but the 3-2 loss to the Cubs in the first round of the real playoffs is going to hurt.

  27. I can prove that the Braves will not finish 162-0.

    First proposition: The odds that the Braves finish the season with 0 wins and 162 losses is 0.

    Proof: there is an infinite number of possible win-loss states for the Braves. There could be a strike at any point of the year; there could be additionally scheduled double-headers; there could be a new playoff game scheduled between now and the end of the year (as happened with the Wild Card Game); there could be a series of ties, like in the 2002 All-Star Game. The odds of the Braves finishing 0-162 divided by an infinite number of possible win states is 0.

    Second proposition: The odds that the Braves finish the season with 1 win and 161 losses is 0.

    Proof: see above.

    Third proposition: The odds that the Braves finish the season with 1 win and 161 losses is 0.

    One hundred sixty-second proposition: The odds that the Braves finish the season with 162 wins and 0 losses is 0.

  28. Nice try AAR, but you’re talking to someone who actually knows Lebesgue integration and measure theory. And that is, I bet, the first time Lebesgue-Borel measure theory has been mentioned on this blog. Let’s put it in a simpler notation. By your reckoning, every integer number of wins from 0 to 175 (I’ll throw on a bunch of hypothetical playoff games at the end of the season without loss of generality.) is impossible. Great. Give me those and you can have every other infinite possibility. I’ll even give you odds: a case of beer to a thimbleful. Let’s see what happens.

  29. Ah, you’ve oversimplified my argument. I’m implying that the product of every integer number of wins and every integer number of losses and every integer number of ties is infinite, because we don’t know how many games will be played. There is a chance, however remote, that due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be an infinite number of games played. Therefore, every other number of games up until that point is also possible. Therefore, the chance of any discrete win-loss-tie state is zero.

  30. To spare the innocent, I will continue this discussion offline, but you’re wrong. That said, I recognize that my prediction of 162-0 is not dead-certain.

  31. For whatever reason, I think we will see more production from Uggla this year. I’ve got a feelin that playing alongside Chipper made him put too much pressure on himself. I’ve got know way of proving this, just a hunch.

  32. Lol 50. Am I the only one who wanted to see JonathanF explain to AAR why he was wrong out in the open?

  33. I listened to the ESPN Baseball Tonight Podcast with Buster Olney. There was lots of talk about how most baseball writers would start their spring by talking to Chipper Jones about hitting, hitters, pitchers, etc. Olney claims that an unnamed Braves player predicts Chip will lace up the spikes once more this season a la Roger Clemens. He essentially guaranteed that it will be a top ESPN baseball story mid summer, regardless of whether or not Chipper returns.

  34. @51, no kidding. If we can have an accounting fight online, we can stand a math one.

    @53, If the team was in a pennant race, Chipper asking to play the last 50 games or so would be epic.

  35. That’d be great and all, but if he tries to play 50 he’ll probably get hurt and play only 20 and that would be the opposite of epic.

  36. It’s a great conspiracy theory — we’ve left room on the 40-man roster and in the budget, and traded away the only sure thing 3B we had.

  37. Buster also mentioned that Uggla now inhabits Chipper’s ST locker. I’m not sure if this will carry over to the Turner Field locker room. I wonder if he gets it because he’s the oldest position player or if Fredi/Wren or the rest of the team see him as some sort of leader on and off the field. It seems to me that McCann should get that locker.

  38. OK Spike (and AAR) — a simple proof: Imagine flipping a fair coin until you get heads. Any number of heads is possible, so the sample space is infinite, but the probability of any particular number of heads is finite: 1/2^n, where n is the number of flips. If you don’t like that, take it up with Zeno, not me. Next stop: Riemann-Stieljes integrals.

  39. Heard that on the podcast too.

    Did anyone else listen to the Baseball Today podcasts? I already miss it. Olney has connections all over and covers a lot of different stories, but I appreciated the willingness of Karabell and Law to share “anti-establishment” views on a production of the WWL.

    I realize that they weren’t exactly cutting edge with everything, I didn’t always agree with them, and I often times think Law is a douche, but it was a good way to hear different opinions for baseball stuff beyond the Braves. And it was a readily consumable product for my PM bus ride back home.

  40. @60
    I liked it too, even though both Law and Karabell irritated me daily. Law is thoughtful and intelligent, even if he’s a dick. I liked that they’d seem to cover baseball stories that mattered, rather than the ones ESPN fixates on. Sometimes I felt that Karabell essentially parroted the opinions of Law as if he’s afraid of his wrath.

  41. I like Buster as a host too, I’m just worried that he will toe the ESPN party line and cover the same old tired stories AROD/Steroids, Jeter, how the Yankees did THIS week, something Harper said) that are irrelevant to your average devout baseball fan of team outside of NY/BOS.

  42. That’s fascinating. Full disclosure: I was kidding. I think the Braves will almost certainly finish somewhere between 0-162 and 162-0, and there is obviously a finite probability of each. I put the most likely win total at 86-88 before the Braves got Upton, and I think that Upton might well be a one-win improvement over Prado, so I could see this as being an 89-win team.

    There is, however, an infinitesimal chance — which you cannot prove is zero, though I cannot prove that it is distinct from zero — that the Braves will have infinite wins or infinite losses this year.

  43. Not so crazy about Buster hosting the BBTN podcast. There were little things I didn’t like about the old lineup, but the show had its own personality, and was fairly entertaining in its own right.

    I’m sure Buster will be able to wrangle more sound bites and interviews with MLB players, managers, etc., but the show now has all the charm of any generic Sports Center segment.

  44. That tweet gave it an extra 6 months minimum. He’s just a guy that hasn’t figured out the first rule of being in a hole is to stop digging.

  45. I did the same thing, Alex. I was like, “Jordan Schafer is the Tyler Durden of being an a hole.” Although, really, I think he’s probably more properly classified as the perfect example of a douche.

  46. @63 A year is a finite amount of time; it cannot contain an infinite number of games, which must take some non-zero amount of time to complete. Hence, the odds of infinite wins or losses this year are proven to be zero.

  47. I thought I’d just invented a word. One-upnerdship. Turns out others have thought of it first — in fact, two of the first four Google results are from baseball-related websites. Oh well, back to the drawing board. As you were.

  48. I think they were givebacks from all the non-charging calls UGA got in the first half. Oh well. Baby steps, as ever.

  49. I’ll take your word for it since I was flipping back and forth between the game and the UFC on Fuel. But that non-call at the end of reg was the last straw for me. Especially after that bs elbow call on Gaines.

  50. I renewed the Braves fantasy league from last year. Previous managers get first dibs and I have 2 people that are already interested. If anyone not in the league last year is interested, please email me at cothrjr at hotmail dot com. If managers from last year do not respond in a week, I will open it to first responders.

  51. #77-78
    Not that it matters so much in the grand scheme, however…

    Didn’t see the first half, but the officiating in the last 3 minutes of the UGA/Ole Miss game was about as one-sided as you’ll ever see.

    The elbow call was terrible & it changed the game. But the gutless non-call at the end of regulation was worse.

  52. One degree of separation. I know someone that was in the Siberian city hit by meteorite. She was born there and was skyping with her husband when there was this bright light. She had gone back for immigration reasons.

  53. So here’s one…. Sitting in a cheap chain pizza joint, reading Jeffrey Loria’s Wikipedia page. See the part about working as an art buyer for Sears, and immediately the Billy Joel lyrics “they bought an apartment, with deep-pile carpets, and a couple of paintings from Sears,” pop in my head.

    Not a MINUTE later, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” on the canned radio…

  54. So I guess jjschiller should be able to tell is with 100% probability exactly how many wins the Braves will have this year.

    What do you say, jj?

  55. As an aside.. has anyone yet suggested (since there apparently will be no Operation Running Bear) that we call the Johnson-Francisco platoon Franchrisco Juanson ?

  56. 87, Brilliant. I’m also going to pronounce the ‘chrisco’ as ‘crisco’ in honor of Juan’s body’s composition.

  57. Regarding the poll, I voted for “stand pat”, but what I really think should be done is bringing in a cheap veteran arm or two. Not anyone that might be good but instead someone who will probably be at worst “really bad” as opposed to “complete disaster”. Injuries happen, and having someone who can give us 2-5 starts and maybe get 4 or 5 innings would be useful to have in AAA.

  58. #84
    I used to live in the same Long Island town where Billy Joel was reported to have had the occasional auto mishap.

    Once, after he’d run his car into a neighbor’s house, I told a friend about it.

    His response: “A bottle of red… a bottle of white…”

  59. Weird, I listened to The Stranger for the first time in at least 20 years the other day. I used to skip over Vienna — now I think it’s my favorite song on the album.

  60. Watched Perks of being a Wallflower last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s one of those movies that people watch and half smile throughout the whole movie. Good schtuff!

  61. Greetings from the Outer Banks of North Carolina
    We’ll be house hunting today and I’m so excited to be moving back to an area with Fox Sports South!

    Any advice on finding good live baseball in this area would be much appreciated. I hear the Norfolk team has a good ballpark.

    Downside, I seem to have brought the snow from Indiana with me!

  62. @ 96
    Harbor Park’s where the Tides play in Norfolk. It’s an old stadium, and not exactly the best kept ballpark in the world. On the other hand it’s located right on the water, and it’s really beautiful during the day and early evening because ships are going by and the water’s so blue it hurts your eyes.
    I haven’t been in a year or two, but last time I was there the scoreboard and Jumbotron were the same as when I was a little boy, so it’s not a very technologically advanced park either. And parking can be a nightmare. But hey, it’s live baseball!

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