Bryce Harper wins prestigious 'Golden Spikes Award'

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In news agent Scott Boras will surely bring up in contract negotiations next month, No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper has been named the “Golden Spikes Award” winner as the country’s top amateur player.
Harper is an unconventional choice because he left high school early and enrolled in junior college, batting .443 with 31 homers and 98 RBIs in 66 games at the College of Southern Nevada. He becomes just the second Golden Spikes Award recipient from a junior college, following Alex Fernandez in 1990.
Mississippi pitcher Drew Pomeranz, Central Florida outfielder Chris Duffy, Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, and Florida Gulf Coast pitcher Chris Sale were the other finalists for the award, with Harper beating out Pomeranz by just one vote out of 102 ballots cast. Pomeranz was selected by the Indians with the fifth overall pick last month.
Harper’s future teammate Stephen Strasburg won the award last year and Giants catcher/first baseman Buster Posey captured it in 2008. Harper and Strasburg are two of just seven Golden Spikes Award winners to be drafted No. 1 overall, along with David Price, Pat Burrell, Phil Nevin, Ben McDonald, and Bob Horner. And now the Nationals have until August 15 to sign him.

Fried, Braves go to salary arbitration for 2nd straight year

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Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried went to salary arbitration with the Atlanta Braves for the second straight year, asking for $15 million instead of the team’s $13.5 million offer.

The 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 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal in arbitration. That was after he pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.

Fried, who is eligible for free agency after the 2024 World Series, had his case heard Friday by a panel that’s expected to issue a decision Saturday.

Players have won two of three decisions so far: Pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Miami Marlins. But Seattle defeated Diego Castillo ($2.95 million).

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe, whose case was argued Monday. About 20 more cases are scheduled through Feb. 17.