Cubs calling up prospect Junior Lake from Triple-A

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With rumors swirling about the Cubs trading various veterans they’ve decided to call up 23-year-old Junior Lake from Triple-A, where he was hitting .295 with four homers and an .803 OPS in 40 games.

After playing shortstop for most of his career Lake shifted to third base this season and has also seen action in the outfield, with general manager Jed Hoyer telling Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that the Cubs want to increase his defensive versatility.

Lake has never been considered a top prospect, in large part because of his poor plate discipline and strike zone control, but he’s also been young for every level of competition, offers very good speed, and has shown some upside offensively overall.

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.