Just a day or so before heading to Arizona to have his arbitration hearing, Jeff Francoeur has reached a contract agreement with the Braves. Now the focus can turn towards Spring Training and bouncing back from the tough season he went through last year, batting only .239 with 11 home runs. The agreement gives Jeff a base salary of $3.375 million with some small incentives to push the contract a little past $3.4 million.
This is a huge step in the right direction for Francoeur. I’ve been concerned as the days have passed, and we got closer to the schedule arbitration hearing date, that going to an actual hearing was the last thing that he needed to do for himself, his performance and the team. Frenchy is no doubt still a little fragile mentally after the tough going he experienced last season, and the process of the arbitration hearing likely would have been damaging to him. The Braves would have been able to make a strong argument at the hearing for their salary figure, which was $2.8 million, given past performance. Jeff had requested $3.95 million.
In other contract news, Chipper Jones and the Braves are in the process of negotiating a contract that will keep Chipper in Atlanta for a few more years. Chipper has always played in Atlanta and only wants to play in Atlanta. As we discussed earlier on in the offseason, not giving him a new contract to keep him here is not an option. There are still a lot of details to work through for the soon-to-be 37-year-old third baseman, but at least the front office is making the effort to get talks underway. Chipper has continued to maintain that he will not discuss a new contract once the season begins.
So the contracts are signed, no one’s headed towards arbitration and we’re one step closer to getting baseball season started for 2009. Next on the list…..figuring out who is going to fill out the rest of the outfield to give Francoeur a hand.
Tags: Arbitration, Chipper Jones, Contract, Francoeur Avoids Arbitration, Jeff Francoeur
Posted in Roster Moves | 7 Comments »