Cubs expected to trade catcher Welington Castillo

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Following the acquisition of Miguel Montero from the Diamondbacks today, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports hears that the Cubs are expected to trade their previous starting catcher Welington Castillo.

The Cubs apparently looked into potential deals for Castillo when they were courting Russell Martin earlier this offseason. Now that a deal for Montero has been reached, they can revisit those talks. This is just speculation on my part, but the Rangers and Rockies could make sense.

Castillo turns 28 in April and batted .237/.296/.389 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI over 110 games this past season. He’s arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter. MLB Trade Rumors projects that he’ll make around $2.1 million.

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.