Brian Wilson will start spring training at full speed

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Know what we did all last winter but haven’t done at all this winter? Talked about Giants closer Brian Wilson.  How zany he is and all of that. Really, I haven’t thought about him at all since the last “BECAUSE I”M BLACK OPS!” Taco Bell commercial aired during the World Series.  Guess that happens when your team is no longer the world champs and your season ends in injury.

But Wilson is back on the radar. For baseball reasons, as Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that he’s been playing “hard catch” — which I did not know was a thing, but is apparently a thing — and will be able to begin bullpen sessions with the rest of the Giants staff when they all get to Scottsdale next month.

And if he’s pitching again and back to normal it will only be a matter of time before he does something zany again. Just you watch!

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.