The Atlanta Braves are stocked with young talent – young talent that will eventually be in need of new contracts.
Andrelton Simmons, Freddie Freeman and Craig Kimbrel all fit that list as does outfielder Jason Heyward, but according to David O’Brien, the Braves may struggle to find a middle ground with Heyward moving forward:
And now with Heyward only two years from free agency, might be especially tough to get him to take anything less — in exchange for security — than the amount he believes he’ll get as a free agent. Because now the security doesn’t mean as much, with only two years till free agency, as it would’ve meant a year or two ago, which is the point where teams generally sign their young stars to long-terms deals that buy out some free agency.
Teams often are able to secure their talented youth with early deals that buy out arbitration eligible years and provide a financial security. In exchange, the teams are able to get a ‘friendly’ deal and are often able to retain a player for ‘cheap’ (all things considered) during what would normally be their first few years of free agency.
But with Heyward, the Braves didn’t opt to do such and now it may cost them in the end.