Wood's injury may be more serious than believed

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Kerry Wood was scratched from his scheduled appearance Saturday with a sore right lat muscle, but the Indians quickly announced Sunday that he was already back on track and would be able to throw a bullpen session today followed by game action Wednesday.
Unfortunately, those plans have changed. Wood did not throw a bullpen session today and manager Manny Acta seemed unsure about when the Indians’ closer would be ready to pitch again:

We’re going to take it easy with Kerry. The medical staff will put together a plan for him. We want to be careful. He’s our closer. He has plenty of time to get ready, and there’s no reason to rush him back out there.

Wood’s injury was initially dismissed as merely “spring training soreness” by the Indians, but obviously there’s something else going on at this point. As beat reporter Anthony Castrovince wrote as the lead to his MLB.com story: “It could be something, it could be nothing.”
All of which is why 24-year-old setup man and potential closer-in-waiting Chris Perez is one of my fantasy “sleeper” picks for AL-only leagues.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Despite the defeat, Fried matched the $13.5 million Gerrit Cole won in 2019 as the highest decided by an arbitration panel.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 29-year-old left-hander, went 14-7 for the second straight season and lowered his ERA to 2.48 from 3.04 in 2021. Fried was a first-time All-Star last season, was second to Miami’s Sandy Alcantara in Cy Young Award voting and was third in the National League in ERA behind Alcantara and Julio Urias of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.