Athletics sign switch-pitcher Pat Venditte

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From agent Marc Klingman comes word that Pat Venditte, a switch-pitcher who can throw both left-handed and right-handed, has signed a minor league contract with the Oakland A’s. The deal also carries an invitation to major league spring training.

Venditte was selected by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft out of Creighton University and posted a promising 2.46 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 10.1 K/9 across 384 2/3 innings in the Yanks’ minor league system, but he went six years without getting called to New York.

Venditte is going to have a tough time cracking Oakland’s deep and talented bullpen out of spring training, but the 29-year-old is a very unique talent and should get a shot eventually at the big league level. Here’s some video of him confusing the opposition (and an umpire) a few years ago at short-season Staten Island:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDyCRTlKllk%5D

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.