Stephen Piscotty’s mother passes away

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You may remember that, back in December, the Cardinals dealt outfielder Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics. On the surface that deal was unremarkable. The Cards had acquired Marcell Ozuna, Piscotty was the odd man out and Oakland was willing to take him. There was far more to that deal, however.

The Cards traded Piscotty to Oakland, as opposed to some other team, so that he could be near his mother Gretchen, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease about a year ago. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

In the weeks after the trade there were several stories in the San Francisco Chronicle and other papers which cover the A’s following Piscotty’s return home. He traveled with his mother to various places and the Piscotty family all seemed to take joy in their son being so close at such a time. “It’s important to spend time with her because we’re running out of it, and we’re just trying to cherish every moment,” Piscotty told ESPN a few months back. “With or without the illness, I’m very grateful they’re all close by,” Gretchen Piscotty told the San Francisco Chronicle in January, talking about Stephen and her other two sons. “I wish this wasn’t impacting them, impacting the family, but I’m very grateful to see them.”

Sadly, Gretchen Piscotty passed away last night. She was 55. Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations, released the following statement:

“The Athletics organization extends its deepest condolences to the Piscotty family on the loss of Gretchen. She was a devoted wife and mother, whose legacy will live on through her husband, Mike, and their sons Stephen, Austin and Nick.”

Rest in peace.

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.