(Reuters) - Former All-Star outfielder Jason Heyward, who suffered an injury-plagued 2013 season, has avoided arbitration and agreed to a two-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, the Major League Baseball team said on Tuesday.
Though no financial details were disclosed by the Braves, local media estimated the deal to be worth a guaranteed $13.3 million, along with performance incentives that could escalate his salary for the 2015 season.
Heyward, who hit .254 with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs in a career-low 104 games for the Braves in 2013 while twice going on the disabled list, was delighted that a deal could be struck.
”You never know what is going to happen with the business side of things,“ Heyward, 24, was quoted as saying on the Braves website. ”You know what you want and you know you have to be prepared for the worst.
“I knew my agents were going to work with the Braves on something. Playing baseball is the most important thing here. Now we don’t have to go back and forth about the arbitration process and determining likes and dislikes, pros and cons.”
Heyward, an All-Star in 2010 and a National League Gold Glove Award winner in 2012, had appendectomy surgery in April and then broke his jaw after being hit by a pitch in late August during his fourth season with the Braves.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry