Orioles have interest in free agent Casey Kotchman

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From MASN’s Roch Kubatko comes word that the Orioles “have discussed” the idea of making a run at free agent first baseman Casey Kotchman.

It’s not clear whether those talks were all internal or whether there’s been direct contact with Kotchman’s representatives. But it does seem like a decent fit.

Kotchman is an elite defensive first baseman and registered a solid .306/.378/.422 batting line in 563 plate appearances last season for the Rays. Signing him would allow Baltimore to make Chris Davis the primary designated hitter while also pushing Wilson Betemit to a utility role. The Indians have also been linked recently to Kotchman.

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.