A.J. Burnett passes physical, trade to Pirates approved

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Update: the teams have now confirmed the trade.

While neither team has officially announced the deal, the two hurdles involved in the trade sending A.J. Burnett to the Pirates and two prospects to the Yankees have now been cleared, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Those two hurdles were Burnett’s physical, which he passed, and league approval of the deal because there was more than $1 million changing hands.

An announcement of the trade will probably come Monday. The Yankees are getting RHP Diego Moreno and outfielder Exicardo Cayones in return for Burnett and $20 million of the $33 million he’s owed over the next two years.

Burnett is set to pitch at or near the top of a Pirates rotation also set to include Jeff Karstens, James McDonald, Erik Bedard and Kevin Correia. The worst performer from the group will likely be shuffled off to the pen once Charlie Morton is ready to return from hip surgery.

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.