Yoenis Cespedes is not guaranteed a job either. Or so says Billy Beane.

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It’s understandable that Manny Ramirez is going to be out of the picture for a while. But would you believe Yoenis Cespedes could be shuffled off to the minors too?

I don’t believe it, but Billy Beane is at least making noises that Cespedes will not simply be given a job:

Beane would not guarantee Cespedes will be in the lineup March 28 when the A’s open the regular season against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo. “Whether we think he’ll be ready to handle it the first game of the year or the 10th game, we just don’t know,” Beane said. “I think we’ll just have a feel. If we think he can handle it up here, we’ll make that decision.”

Obviously Beane has not read Cespedes’ glowing press clippings. Or maybe he’s just not as impressed at someone smacking a Jeff Francis “fastball” over the fence as I am. But you know me: I’m always an optimist.

I’m guessing he starts Opening Day, however. He’s going to be a draw. And, even if he’s not quite the hitter he showed in a single outing against some average pitching on a random March afternoon, he’s much more of a power threat than whoever would take his place in the A’s lineup, right?

One other thing: Every article I’ve seen spells his name “Yoenis.”  His locker in the A’s clubhouse in Phoenix, however, has the nameplate “Yoenys Cespedes” over it.  Anyone care to advise?

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.