Padres not done yet, preparing big bid for Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada

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Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada is able to sign with any team now after officially being declared a free agent by MLB and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Padres are preparing to make a strong push for him.

San Diego’s entire offseason has been filled with headline-grabbing moves, including signing James Shields to a four-year, $75 million contract that figures to be announced shortly.

Moncada has held private workouts for interested teams and the 19-year-old is expected to land a big contract, perhaps in excess of $40 million. And by signing him for that type of money teams would forfeit their ability to spend significant bonuses on international prospects for the next couple seasons. According to Passan the Padres “are working out Moncada today.”

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.