For the second straight season, the Atlanta Braves and Max Fried entered an arbitration hearing to decide the left-handers compensation for the upcoming season. Last season, Max came out on top. This season, it was the team the arb panel sided with, setting Fried’s 2023 salary at the $13.5M figure the team filed instead of the $15M figure Fried’s camp filed.
Fried was coming off a dominant 2022 season, where he pitched 185 inning, posted a 2.48 ERA, a 2.70 FIP, and a 5.0 fWAR, maintaining his spot as the unquestioned ace of the staff.
MLB Trade Rumors’ arbitration projection system, which has become the gold standard around the league, had projected Fried to earn $12.2M this season through the arb process, so Max was coming out ahead regardless of which way the arbitration panel decided to go.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the Fried’s looming free agency that is a short two years away. Braves’ fans have already become anxious of his impending exit, mainly because of franchise favorites Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson leaving via free agency the last two years. The “will they or won’t they” when it comes to an extension has already reached a fever pitch.
That question still looms, but the question of Fried’s 2023 salary has officially been answered.