Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Don Mattingly was expecting to spend a summer at home with his family. A call from the Toronto Blue Jays convinced him to get back into baseball.

Mattingly, who left his job as Miami Marlins manager at the end of last season, is joining Toronto’s staff as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

Mattingly said he’d been contacted by multiple clubs with offers for 2023, but nothing interested him until Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins called to chat.

“Just the first conversation, it felt great, honestly,” Mattingly said on a video call Wednesday. “It piqued my interest right away.”

Mattingly managed against the Blue Jays in 2020 and 2021.

“Knowing the talent and seeing it, I know it’s a really good club,” Mattingly said. “You look at the combination of youth and experience, and an offense that can throw runs up. Over the last few years I’ve seen these guys. They throw runs up in a hurry. I think all the ingredients are there to win.”

The former New York Yankees slugger and six-time All-Star joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons with the Marlins. Mattingly won NL Manager of the Year honors with Miami in 2020.

“Credibility and experience are achieved in many different ways, and Don’s is unique for our staff,” Atkins said. “Experience and credibility are words that get used a lot in professional sports, and in life and in corporate worlds. It’s hard to quantify exactly how valuable that is, but I think it’s something that will create that calming impact and influence, and help not only with performance and lack thereof, but also with accountability, which will be huge.”

Before Miami, Mattingly won three division titles in five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Gloves at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.

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.