Braves lefty Max Fried won his arbitration hearing against the Braves and will be paid a $6.85MM salary for the current season rather than the $6.6MM sum submitted by the team, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (Twitter link).
Fried, the No. 7 overall pick by the Padres in 2012 who came to the Braves by way of the 2014 Justin Upton trade, has emerged as Atlanta’s most consistent starter in recent years. The 28-year-old broke out with a huge 11-start showing during the shortened 2020 season and built upon that success in 2021, pitching to a 3.04 ERA with a solid 23.7% strikeout rate, an excellent 6.1% walk rate and a strong 51.8% ground-ball rate — all while tying his career-high in innings pitched (165 2/3).
That success has carried over into the 2022 campaign as he’s posted nearly identical numbers — 2.77 ERA, 23.7% strikeout rate, 4.3% walk rate, 51.6% grounder rate — although this year’s consistency wasn’t a factor in the hearing. Despite being conducted during the ongoing season, arbitration hearings were based solely on prior statistical performance, as is the case in a typical offseason when they’re conducted in February. (That was not possible this winter, given the league-implemented 99-day lockout.) Players with unresolved cases have been paid at the team-submitted figure prior to hearings. Now that he’s won his hearing, Fried will be credited with retroactive pay to make up the difference to this point, and he’ll be paid at the new rate moving forward.
This is Fried’s second time through the arbitration process, and he’ll be eligible twice more by virtue of his standing as a Super Two player. He’s controllable by the Braves through the 2024 season — barring a long-term contract extension.
The $250K gap between the figures submitted by the team and player will strike most fans as trivial, and while that’s largely true, both parties have reason to take a hard stance. Any arbitration ruling becomes a data point for future arbitration negotiations among all 30 teams — arbitration is based on precedent among statistical comparables — so making even small concessions has a compounding impact over time. (MLBTR chatted with several general managers, assistant GMs and other front office execs about the system and going to trial over at-times trivial sums a few years back, for those who’d like to read more on the matter.) For Fried, he’ll now earn at a higher rate this season, and his subsequent raises over the next two seasons will now be built upon a slightly larger baseline.
With both Fried and Marlins catcher Jacob Stallings now seeing their pending arbitration cases resolved — Stallings recently lost a hearing against the Marlins — Yankees superstar Aaron Judge is the last remaining case to be settled. His hearing is reportedly set to take place on Friday.
Clubhouse soda’s just got more expensive.
John Rocker Fan Club
I hear they’re replacing the name brand sodas with the Walmart versions.
Dr. Pepper is now Dr. Tickles
Actually its getting tougher to find Great Value Wal-Mart brand products with the bad economy and food shortages going on with gas prices rising constantly
Crab L. Winston
That all adds up. More views on economics please.
Well actually we’ve been in the beginning stages of recession for a while now. Look what’s running the country and realize it will get worse. Purposefully. Now let’s try getting back on subject.
Don’t know if you meant it that way, but “what’s running the country” is correct, and the answer is corporations. They have been running the country since the Reagan years, and their stronghold gets worse with each new administration
clown show stands for trump adm
corporations. They have been running the country since the Reagan years,
There are an awful lot of Fortune 100 companies in 2022, that either didn’t exist when Reagan was president, or not particularly large. Walmart, Amazon & Apple currently being the top 3.
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Clubhouse Fried chicken expected to max out in price…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Fried chicken expected to double in price…
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Double the post, now I’m toast
Ooops (how did that happen?)
You hit publish twice. My guess.
Mike Piazza Pie
Over $250k? Seems like a relatively small sum on a $6 million contract. I wonder how much they paid in man hours and salary to drag it out this long? Executives and arbitration lawyers work hours aren’t free and could probably be better spent elsewhere.
You make a good point. These raises are effectively compounded, so it’s more like $750k over three years. Maybe that factors into the decision making process.
They compound for far more than just the current player. League-wide arbitration is based on historical precedent, so all 30 teams try to keep salaries down. Moving anyone forward even $100K or $200K makes it easier for the next person to get that, and the needle slowly moves forward.
If you think it sounds trivial, consider that it’s 2022, and there are still fewer than five cases of first-time arbitration starters topping the $4.35MM mark set by *Dontrelle Willis* back in 2006. Two of them (Dallas Keuchel, Corbin Burnes) needed to win a Cy Young Award to get past that now-16-year-old precedent.
None of this is to defend or criticize the teams’ hardline stance, but it’s easy to see why they take it. In the post, I linked to an interview with a handful of GMs, AGMs, etc. I did on this subject back in 2015, and I always encourage readers to check it out when they express bewilderment over the small gaps in arbitration dealings.
Thank you for your expertise!
Steve, is inflation, both general and baseball, considered? $4.35M in 2006 would be significantly more today.
Mike Piazza Pie
I get your point but still disagree with the suggested strategy.
Increasing the amount your opponent pays in arbitration, decreases the amount they have to spend on free agents.
Each team has a general guideline on how much they can spend and an increase in one area should mean decrease in another.
The $250k will result in the Braves paying about $10M or more in future arbitration to Freid.
He’s definitely worth it and should be able to get the Max amount possible!
sorry for the bad pun
$10M?? Please explain.
Yeah the fact Jacob stallings lost his case means he lost about $7.9 billion in arbitration earnings over the next few years.
Edit:that’s a “b”. Do the math, sheeple!
Justin Upton? I guess that was a win now trade.
The birth of AJ Preller. This was one of his first trades. Later that offseason he acquired Kimbrel from ATL, right before the season started. ATL was rebuilding and had a new regime (Coppy/Hart) that knew they wouldn’t be able to get an extension from him. Fried was a 1st rd pick on the mend from TJ surgery and they didn’t want to wait out his development. ATL was very patient with him while all 3 other parts: Jace/Dustin Peterson, Mallex Smith saw ML time while being traded away, as well. Clear current payroll space, acquire high-end talent and pieces.
Good post. Thanks
Still, nothing beats trading one year of Jason Heyward for Shelby Smith, who they then flipped to Arizona for Swanson, Inciarte, and a couple other prospects that didn’t pan out. It was a masterful rebuild, and although Coppy obviously got caught doing shady deals in the international transfer market, and the sanctions won’t really be felt for another couple of years, it was a perfect example of how to rebuild on the fly. Pennants fly forever.
The funny part is, when teams do that now, the writers scream “tanking”.
Why did the braves argue over 250k with their best pitcher? Seems really stupid and cheap
You must be joking right? Did you not read Steve’s reply just above your comment? Geez.
They have a policy of being a “file-and-trial” team that leaves no room for negotiations. Agents know this and are perhaps more calculated in preparation of their submitted figure knowing that ATL is already preparing to go to war (i.e. arb). It’s not the best way to continue a relationship, but baseball is a business and they are corporately-owned — this is one of the clearest examples of that sometimes unsavory fact.
Steve not only answered this question in comments. He even anticipated this question in the article and answered it.
Max Fried and his representatives crush and destroy Alex and his cronies in an epic arbitration show down.
Max Fried conquers the Braves in their arbitration war
I thought that Adam Frazier of Seattle and Chris Bassitt Mets remained to be determined in arb as well, but maybe I missed those 2?
I see Bassitt settled, but I thought Adam Frazier also needed to resolve his arb filing case.
Just when i wrote seemed like all clubs win Arbs’ hearings.
Actually Matt Swartz’s projected arb values are a very handy tool to predict how these hearings will go.
Of the 3 cases where the player won, they actually asked for less than Swartz projected. Of the 9 cases the clubs have won, 7 times the club number was closer to the projection, and 1 time the midpoint was closer (Luke Jackson). Only in the case of Austin Riley was his file number closer (and a tick below) the projection but the club won anyway. So perhaps Atlanta did play some hardball, but they also saw 2 of the 3 player wins.
In the other cases (6) when the players number was the closest the teams settled or extended. This isn’t to say they didn’t make some mistakes – they settled 5 times when their number was closest – and was over the projection in 4 of those cases, which could possibly have been wins as well.
It appears 2 remain – Adam Frazier and Aaron Judge. In Frazier’s case the projection was closest to the midpoint, but is also closer to the team number than the player’s.. A settlement at about the midpoint might have been best here for Frazier – Seattle was reasonable, even generous, in their other 2 arb cases. In Judge’s case the club number is far closer to the projection than the midpoint or Judge’s.- that looks like another club win but his is the top $ and profile case.
Judge could be a great Dodger , along with Riley …… the stars are in demand , you pay them or someone else will. Fried will be fine now and when he is a free agent.
The Braves better realize the young talent is going to cost them a bundle.
No “defeat” this time?
Does the front office feel like they were max fried?
Fried deserved this no matter what, but I’m not sold that all the arbitration results weren’t based on this years production for the Braves. They should be looking at past production, but in the Braves cases the results of arbitration just so happen to match the production on the field at the current time
Have to think the Braves would want to lock up Fried before reaching free agency. Dude is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Can’t replace arms like that.
No mention of his 6 shutout innings in the World Series clinching game 6?