By Associated Press - Friday, January 17, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - The Braves agreed Friday to one-year contracts with pitchers Kris Medlen and Mike Minor, infielder Chris Johnson and outfielder Jordan Schafer.

The deals left Atlanta with three key players remaining in arbitration: closer Craig Kimbrel, slugging first baseman Freddie Freeman and outfielder Jason Heyward.

Medlen agreed to a $5.8 million deal, more than doubling his 2013 salary of $2.6 million. Minor got a $3.85 million contract after making $505,000 a year ago. Johnson’s salary will jump from just under $2.29 million to $4.75 million, while Schafer agreed to a deal that will increase his salary from $512,500 to $1.09 million.

Medlen (15-12, 3.11 ERA) and Minor (13-9, 3.21) were key members of the rotation, while Johnson surprisingly wound up second in the NL with a .321 batting average after being acquired from Arizona along with Justin Upton. Schafer is a backup outfielder who led Atlanta with 22 stolen bases.

The three unsigned played swapped arbitration figures with the team. The biggest gap is with Kimbrel, one of the NL’s most dominant closers with 50 saves and a 1.21 ERA last season. He is asking for $9 million, while the Braves countered with an offer of $6.55 million. He earned $655,000 in 2013.

Freeman, who batted .319 with a career-best 109 RBIs, is seeking $5.75 million compared with the team’s offer of $4.5 million. Either would be a big increase over the $560,000 he made last season.

Heyward, who battled a series of injuries, asked for an increase from $3.65 million to $5.5 million. The team is offering $5.2 million.

Negotiations can continue until the arbitrator makes a decision. Hearings are scheduled for February.

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