Stephen Strasburg ready to throw off a mound “any day”

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Stephen Strasburg had a routine checkup on his surgically repaired elbow Tuesday and general manager Mike Rizzo told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that the rehabbing right-hander will be cleared to throw off a mound “any day.”

Strasburg hasn’t taken the mound since last August and underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in September, which means he’ll need to make a very speedy recovery to pitch for the Nationals at any point this season.

Returning for a few innings in September hasn’t been ruled out yet–as opposed to Bryce Harper debuting in September, which Rizzo ruled out yesterday–but obviously the big-picture goal is for Strasburg to be fully healthy and ready to go for Opening Day of next year.

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.