Carlos Zambrano is trying to impress scouts at the WBC

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Carlos Zambrano is pitching for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic and tossed two scoreless innings in his first appearance yesterday against his team last year, the Marlins.

It was just a pre-tournament tuneup game for Venezuela, but could have been a more important game for Zambrano because at this point in his career he needs to impress someone to get back to the big leagues.

“I have a couple of offers, but they’re not the kind of offers that I want,” Zambrano said, via Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “I think this is a good moment, the WBC, to show or prove something.”

Based on reports last month those “couple of offers” Zambrano doesn’t want may be from Japan and Taiwan. Obviously he’d have to settle for a minor-league deal from an MLB team, but so far at least it’s not even clear he can secure one of those. And the amazing thing is that despite seemingly being around forever Zambrano is still just 31 years old.

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.