ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have agreed to terms with outfielder Jason Heyward on a two-year contract, thus avoiding salary arbitration. The deal runs through the 2015 season and financial terms were not announced.
Braves Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said, "Jason is an important part of our organization and we're glad that we were able to agree on a multi-year contract."
Heyward, 24, posted a .254 batting average with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs in 104 games for the Braves in 2013, his fourth season in the majors. He batted .333 over his final 31 games of the season (since July 28), including .322 in 29 games from the leadoff spot in the batting order (with three leadoff home runs). Heyward suffered two separate stints on the disabled list in 2013, as he underwent appendectomy surgery in late April and then sustained a fractured jaw when he was hit by a pitch in late August. The two DL stints cost him a total of 49 games.
A 2012 National League Gold Glove winner, Heyward was the Braves' top draft pick (14th overall) in 2007 and made his Major League debut in 2010. He has played in 532 career games, with a .259 batting average, 73 homers and 234 RBIs.
The Braves now have two remaining players on their 40-man roster who are still in the arbitration process for the upcoming season - right-handed pitcher Craig Kimbrel and first baseman Freddie Freeman.