This is more speculation than rumor, but it’s worth passing along anyway given the subject matter.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post says a “surprising number” of team executives have told him that they think the Dodgers will “ulimtately be in play” for free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
That might seem impossible given the Dodgers’ in-flux ownership situation, but keep in mind that they were able to sign outfielder Matt Kemp to a club-record eight-year, $160 million contract extension earlier this winter and that bids for the franchise are expected to surpass $1.5 billion once current owner Frank McCourt finally goes to market. Whoever ends up buying team will surely have deep pockets, and will likely be able to afford whatever Fielder and his agent Scott Boras end up commanding.
Heck, adding Fielder could even help McCourt’s bottom line if it improves the club’s perceived value.
The 27-year-old slugger batted .299/.415/.566 with 38 home runs and 120 RBI in 692 plate appearances last season for the National League Central champion Brewers. He owns a spectacular .929 career OPS.
If the Dodgers get serious about landing Fielder, they’ll likely begin shopping James Loney simultaneously.
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.