Cubs re-sign Rodrigo Lopez to minor-league contract

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Rodrigo Lopez did a decent job in 98 innings for the Cubs last season, posting a 4.42 ERA in 16 starts and 10 relief outings, and he’ll return to Chicago on a minor-league contract.

His deal includes an invitation to spring training, but the 36-year-old right-hander will likely be competing for a long-relief role at most considering the Cubs’ rotation is all but set.

Lopez threw 200 innings for the Rockies in 2010, but that came with a 5.00 ERA and league-high 37 homers allowed. He also served up 18 homers in 98 innings last season, which along with sub par strikeout rates and mediocre control makes him a pretty marginal big leaguer at this point.

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.