The Rangers have checked in on Ryan Madson

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The Rangers signed Joe Nathan to a two-year, $14 million contract in November, but that didn’t stop them from pursuing closer Andrew Bailey before the Athletics traded him to the Red Sox late last month. And now they have checked in on free agent reliever Ryan Madson, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

I don’t have my Hot Stove handbook with me at the moment, so I’m not sure if “checked in” is closer to “kicked the tires” or “sniffing around,” but most contenders would be smart to give Scott Boras a call considering how Madson’s market has deteriorated since his reported four-year, $44 million deal with the Phillies fell through. The great majority of teams have already settled on closers, so he could end up being a really nice bargain for someone. That said, the Rangers do have some pretty good depth in the back of their bullpen with Nathan, Mike Adams, Koji Uehara and potentially Alexi Ogando.

Madson, 31, posted a 2.37 ERA, 32 saves and a 62/16 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings last season with the Phillies. He has a 2.89 ERA over the last five seasons.

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.