A’s won’t be trading for Yunel Escobar, as Rays pull shortstop back off waivers

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As expected the Rays have pulled back Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers after the shortstop was claimed by the A’s.

Tampa Bay was only able to negotiate a deal with Oakland and ultimately decided Escobar was worth hanging onto with two seasons and $13 million remaining on his contract.

Escobar has hit just .253 with four homers and a .635 OPS in 113 games this season and wasn’t much better last year, but the bar for shortstops is always very low offensively and the Rays like his defense (and presumably don’t believe Nick Franklin is a legitimate shortstop).

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.