Mike Matheny “not real happy” with Marlins and MLBPA

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The Cardinals and Marlins had their Grapefruit League game in Jupiter, Florida halted on Saturday by a one-hour, 49-minute rain delay.

During that delay the Fish got a little business done, holding a required MLB Players’ Association meeting in their clubhouse. These 30-minute meetings are held every year with every team, right around this time of the spring. The Cardinals, in fact, had theirs between 8:30-9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.

But new St. Louis skipper Mike Matheny is upset that his players had to sit around in the afternoon while the Marlins shifted their focus elsewhere and even indicated to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch that he thought the rain delay could have been shorter.

“I wasn’t real happy,” Matheny said. “We couldn’t get people to make decisions. We weren’t the home team there, and the home team was inside a meeting with Major League Baseball front office. So we were left to wait. The field does drain well, and it did turn out to be beautiful there at the end. It seemed like a completely different day. But in the meanwhile, I wasn’t happy. We have some pretty valuable players out there and we have some people in the bullpen just sitting still for a long time. None of that is a good situation.

Meetings are supposed to be after the game.”

During Tony La Russa’s tenure, the Cards were known for making a fuss about trivial things (remember the complaint about the ribbon board at Miller Park?). Matheny might have a legitimate reason to be upset with what went on Saturday, but detractors will probably suggest that he’s only carrying on the Wrath of Tony.

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.