Max Fried has a 54-25 record on the mound in his career but he’s now just 1-for-2 in arbitration after the Atlanta Braves won their case against him last Friday.
Fried was awarded his $6.85 million request last year, which was just barely higher than the Braves’ $6.6 million offer. However, with a wider gap this year – Fried at $15 million and Atlanta at $13.5 million –, the arbiter ruled in favor of the Braves.
Some may think that Fried could be jaded after the ruling, but that shouldn’t be the case.
Longtime MLB executive David Samson was a guest on the Audacy Original Podcast “Off-Air” and explained why Fried will have no ill will towards the Braves after losing his arbitration case.
“I promise you that Max Fried has zero ill will towards the Atlanta Braves for taking him to arbitration and losing arbitration. Zero,” Samson said (8:09 in player above). “It is all manufactured. Agents use that to try to make owners uncomfortable with arbitration, to try to get owners to settle, to try to get owners to overpay in the arbitration system because they’re told by agents, ‘Hey, my guy’s going to be unhappy.’”
Samson went to arbitration with plenty of players in his career, so he knows firsthand how the aftermath goes.
“There’s not one player I had – and I went to arbitration so many times over 18 years, including with players that I had just traded for who I met in the arbitration room for the first time and I became very close with,” he continued. “I went to arbitration with Miguel Cabrera, Cody Ross, Dan Uggla. All people who I had great relationships with.
“That is very much an agent-driven concept. Max Fried is going to perform. The minute he walks out that door he’s not thinking about it anymore, he’s focused on winning the Cy Young and, more importantly, getting back to the World Series.”
Fried finished second in NL Cy Young voting last season with 34% of the vote share. He went 14-7 for the second consecutive year, improving his ERA from 3.04 to 2.48 with 170 strikeouts in 185 ⅓ innings. He’ll enter this season looking to build on that as one of the Braves’ top arms.
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