The Reds remain in talks for Roy Oswalt

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Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sunday that he hadn’t spoken with the agent Roy Oswalt in about a week while adding that “the last we heard he was going to Texas.” Either Jocketty was being coy or something has changed in the past day or so, because Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com are now reporting that the Reds “remain in talks” with the veteran right-hander.

Rosenthal actually reported on Saturday that the Reds, Red Sox and Phillies had maintained contact with Oswalt’s representatives, but was later told that Cincinnati had merely kicked the tires and weren’t actively involved in negotiations. It turns out he may have been right the first time.

Oswalt would still prefer to pitch for the Rangers or Cardinals, but since both clubs have full starting rotations, he’s having a hard time landing the one-year, $8-10 million salary he reportedly covets. The Reds also have a full slate of starters, but it looks like they are hoping to take advantage of a depressed market in order to make a deal work. They would have to move salary in order to sign him and Homer Bailey is considered the most likely trade candidate.

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.