Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz loses arbitration case, but welcomes newborn son

Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz will make $2.2 million instead of the $2.3 million he requested for 2018.
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Mark Feb. 10, 2018 down as a day that Mike Foltynewicz won’t soon forget.

While the Braves reportedly won their salary arbitration with the right-hander Saturday — in what was the smallest gap in a hearing in 24 years — he and his wife also announced the birth of baby Michael Jett.

As first reported by FanRag’s Jon Heyman, the arbitrator sided with the team over Foltynewicz, who will make $2.2 million instead of the $2.3 million he requested.

The $100,000 gap was the smallest since 1994 when Kevin Maas requested $490,000 from the Yankees, but was instead granted $425,000.

Foltynewicz was just the fourth Atlanta player since 2001 to go to a hearing, following Andruw Jones, Kevin Millwood and John Rocker in 2001 and Mike Minor in ’15.

The Braves lost their last hearing when Minor was awarded $5.6 million after the team offered $3.85 million, and in 2001 Jones was given $8.2 million rather than the team’s $6.4 million offer. In 1996, Steve Avery won his case, getting $2.8 million. But they won against Millwood — $3.1 million instead of the $3.9 million he sought — and Rocker, who drew $1.9 million after seeking $2.98 million.

But the results are likely secondary to Foltynewicz, who posted on Instagram “We can’t wait to have him meet everyone! Love you with all my heart little buddy!”

Foltynewicz 26, was the Braves’ most valuable pitcher last season with a 1.8 fWAR in posting a 4.79 ERA and 4.33 FIP, but his year was defined by inconsistency. He went 17 games from April 7-July 6 with a 3.77 ERA, but August included three outings with six runs or more.

He came three outs from a no-hitter against the Athletics on June 30, but he’s also the same pitcher who had a .362 wOBA in the second half of ’17 compared to .327 in the first half and who went from 10.17 K/9 in August to 7.16 in September.

Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, ‘Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,’ and ‘The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.’ are now available.