The Orioles spoke with the Cubs about Alfonso Soriano for some reason

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Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reports that the Orioles have spoken to the Cubs about a potential trade involving Alfonso Soriano. Based on various other reports in the past few days suggesting that Soriano isn’t going anywhere, it’s quite possible that this refers to past talks that similarly went nowhere. But it is fun, if for no other reason, than it gives Orioles fans something to smack their heads about.

I mean, Soriano, if he was going to Baltimore, would basically be this year’s version of Vlad Guerrero. A once-great name providing league-average-at-best hitting in a position (DH) that calls for better-than-league-average hitting. That doesn’t get the O’s anywhere.

Soriano is probably staying in Chicago. And in light of this morning’s news, that’s not the worst news facing Cubs fans today.

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.