Daniel Murphy nearing return to Mets

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UPDATE: According to the Mets’ official Twitter account, manager Terry Collins said he’s hopeful Murphy will return on Tuesday.

11:33 a.m. ET: The Mets have scored two runs or fewer in five straight games and eight out of their last nine, but they are about to get some help for their struggling offense.

No, I’m not talking about a trade, but Daniel Murphy is close to returning from the disabled list. Out since June 4 with a strained quad, Murphy went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI on Friday in his second minor league rehab game with High-A St. Lucie. He also played eight innings at third base.

According to Kieran Darcy of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said yesterday that Murphy would be re-evaluated on Saturday morning, so it’s possible he could be activated as soon as today. If not, his return will come Sunday or early next week.

With David Wright’s status in limbo due to a back injury, Murphy will take over as the starting third baseman. The Mets are also expected to move Wilmer Flores over to second base and play Ruben Tejada at shortstop.

Murphy, 30, is batting .283/.335/.414 with four home runs and 29 RBI over 55 games this season.

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.