Max Fried wins arbitration hearing against Braves

Max Fried wins arbitration hearing against Braves

Brave left-handed Max fried won its arbitration hearing against the Braves and will receive a salary of $6.85 million for the current season rather than the sum of $6.6 million submitted by the team, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN (Twitter link).

Fried, the No. 7 overall pick of the Padres in 2012 who came to the Braves via the 2014 Justin Upton trade, has become Atlanta’s most consistent starter in recent years. The 28-year-old broke out with a huge 11-start performance in the shortened 2020 season and built on that success in 2021, hitting a 3.04 ERA with a solid 23 strikeout rate, 7%, an excellent 6.1% walk rate and a strong 51.8% rushing ball rate – all while matching his career high in innings pitched (165 2/3).

This success carried over into the 2022 campaign as he posted nearly identical numbers – 2.77 ERA, 23.7% strikeout rate, 4.3% walk rate, 51.6% stake rate grounded — although this year’s consistency wasn’t a factor during the hearing. Although conducted during the current season, arbitration hearings were based solely on past statistical performance, as is the case in a typical offseason when it takes place in February. (That wasn’t possible this winter, given the 99-day lockdown the league put in place.) Players with unresolved cases were paid the amount the team submitted before the hearings. Now that he has won his audience, Fried will be credited with retroactive pay to make up the difference so far, and he will be paid at the new rate going forward.

This is Fried’s second time going through the arbitration process, and he will be eligible twice more due to his position as a Super Two player. He’s controllable by the Braves through the 2024 season – barring a long-term contract extension.

The $250,000 discrepancy between the numbers submitted by the team and the player will seem trivial to most fans, and while that’s largely true, both sides have reason to take a tough stance. Any refereeing decision becomes a data point for future refereeing negotiations between the 30 teams, so making even small concessions has a cumulative impact over time. (MLBTR spoke with several general managers, assistant general managers and other front office executives about the system and the lawsuit for sometimes trivial sums a few years ago, for those who would like to know more about the matter.) For Fried , he will now not only earn at a higher rate this season, but his subsequent increases over the next two seasons will now be based on a slightly larger baseline.

With catcher Fried and Marlins Jacob Stallings now seeing their pending arbitration cases resolved – Stallings recently lost a hearing against the Marlins – the Yankees superstar Judge Aaron is the last matter to be settled. His hearing is scheduled for Friday.

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