Cubs sign Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion

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From reporter Jorge Ebro of Miami’s El Nuevo Herald comes word that Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion agreed to a “multimillion dollar” contract on Thursday evening with the Chicago Cubs.

Concepcion was named the Rookie of the Year in Cuba’s Serie Nacional for 2010-2011 after posting a solid 10-3 record, 3.36 ERA and 53/43 K/BB ratio across 101 2/3 innings of work. The 18-year-old southpaw defected in June to Mexico and officially become a major league free agent in mid-January.

Concepcion also drew interest from the Yankees, Phillies, Royals, Marlins, Giants, Blue Jays and Red Sox this offseason. But the aggressively-rebuilding Cubs were able to outbid the competition.

He’s likely to open the 2012 season at a low level of Single-A. Or maybe it’ll be rookie ball.

UPDATE, 8:12 PM: Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes says Concepcion’s deal is worth $7 million.

Max Fried loses to Braves in salary arbitration

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Max Fried lost to the Atlanta Braves in salary arbitration and will make $13.5 million in the upcoming season instead of his $15 million request.

Mark Burstein, Fredric Horowitz and Jeanne Vonhof issued their decision a day after hearing arguments.

Fried won a $6.85 million salary last year in arbitration instead of the team’s $6.6 million proposal.

He followed former Atlanta teammate Dansby Swanson in going to a hearing in consecutive years. Swanson, a shortstop, lost in 2021 and won last year, then signed a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

The last player to win hearings in consecutive years was pitcher Trevor Bauer against Cleveland in 2018 and 2019.

Fried, a 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.

In 2021, Fried pitched six shutout innings in World Series Game 6 as the Braves won their first title since 1995.