David Ortiz: “I feel happy since I avoided arbitration”

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David Ortiz and the Red Sox created a whole lot of drama before eventually compromising at the exact midpoint and avoiding arbitration, but publicly at least Ortiz seems fine with the outcome after previously wanting a multi-year contract.

“I feel happy since I avoided going to arbitration,” Ortiz told the Associated Press. “People are used to see me with the Red Sox uniform and when you have so much time in one organization, and you’re identified with it, the best thing is to stay, even if it is for one or two million less.”

His one-year deal is a massive one at $14.575 million, so that obviously helps, and by settling at the midpoint Ortiz avoided the chance of arbitrators ruling in favor of the Red Sox to give him only a very small raise from 2011. Instead he gets a $2.075 million bump after hitting .309 with 29 homers and his highest OPS since 2007.

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.