Minor could be Braves’ first arb hearing since Rocker

The last player the Braves faced in an arbitration hearing was John Rocker in 2001, and the next could be another left-hander: Mike Minor.

The Braves and Minor failed to reach a contract agreement before Friday’s deadline for teams to do so or swap salary figures with unsigned arbitration-eligible players in preparation for hearings next month. The Braves filed at $5.1 million and Minor at $5.6 million.

After the Braves and lefty James Russell agreed to a one-year, 2.425 million contract Thursday, Minor was the only unsigned arb-eligible Brave.

Minor, 27, made $3.85 million in 2014 in his first year of arbitration and was a career-worst 6-12 with a 4.77 ERA in 25 starts after missing most of spring training with shoulder tendinitis. The shoulder became inflamed in the opening week of camp, after he was unable to throw in January following Dec. 31 urinary-tract surgery.

The Braves haven’t had an arbitration hearing since winning against Rocker 14 years ago. Last year, they didn’t reach agreements with three arbitration-eligibles — Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Craig Kimbrel — but signed all of them to multiyear contracts in February without any hearings.

At a hearing, a three-person panel chooses the salary proposed by the player or the team, nothing in-between. The Braves were scheduled for an arbitration hearing in 2013 with Martin Prado before trading him to Arizona on Jan. 24.

In 2009, they came to terms with Jeff Francoeur the night before a scheduled arbitration hearing. Soon after, the Braves adopted a policy of not negotiating a one-year contract with any player between salary-swap day and a hearing, a policy that continues under new president of baseball operations John Hart.

In 2013, Minor arguably was the Braves’ best starter, going 13-9 with career-bests in ERA (3.21), strikeouts (181) and innings (204 2/3).