Braves agree to terms with Russell; Minor could be headed to hearing

Mike Minor may be the first Braves player to take the team to an arbitration hearing since 2001.

Tommy Gilligan/Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have agreed to terms with James Russell, avoiding salary arbitration, the team announced Friday, while Mike Minor could be headed to a hearing.

The team and Minor exchanged salary figures, with Atlanta filing at $5.1 million and the left-handed starting pitcher at $5.6 million, per CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman.

The Braves have a long-standing policy for avoiding hearings, with John Rocker the last to take it that far in 2001. They were close to going before an arbitrator with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel last year before signing all to multi-year deals.

Minor, 27, is coming off an erratic season that was delayed due to shoulder tendinitis and a stint on the disabled list.

While he had a six-start run from Aug. 12-Sept. 8 in which he posted a 2.59 ERA with a .200 opponents’ batting averaged and 32 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 2/3 innings, he finished his highest ERA (4.77) and most losses (12) in any of his full four major league seasons

This is his first year of eligibility for arbitration.

Before last season, Minor looked as if he might be next in line to earn a long-term extension as he went 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA in 2013, continuing a three-year run in which he had lowered his ERA each season (4.14 in ’11 and 4.12 in ’12).

Russell, who agreed to a one-year, $2.425 million deal, appeared in 22 games for Atlanta after being dealt July 31 from the Cubs. The left-handed pitcher limited righties to a .165 average with 42 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings.