Cardinals “re-engage” in contract talks with Yadier Molina

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Earlier this week Yadier Molina said that long-term contract negotiations with the Cardinals had stopped, but now Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the two sides have “re-engaged” in talks.

Molina has made it clear that he won’t discuss a deal once spring training is over and he’ll be a free agent after this season, so if the Cardinals want to keep the 29-year-old catcher from hitting the open market they have about a month to do so.

According to Goold, agent Melvin Roman and general manager John Mozeliak have met twice this week and “recent talks have gone in a positive direction” after initial negotiations during the season involved a large gap in demands.

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.