Arbitration makes baseball fans crazy, primarily because they don’t understand the process, which is why it’s hilarious to see Braves fans squirm over Max Fried losing his most recent case. In 2023, Fried will make $13.5 million instead of the $15 million he sought, but it won’t bother Atlanta’s ace.
Former MLB executive David Samson explained why Max Fried would have no hard feelings toward the club on the Off-Air podcast:
“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, via Audacy. “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.’”
Fried was the only player with whom the club went to arbitration, which obviously raised suspicion among Braves Country, inevitably leading to the same song and dance we go through every offseason.
The two sides file what they believe Fried’s salary should be in 2023, and if they do not match, they go to a trial. The third-party arbitrator couldn’t have just split the difference of $13.5 million and $15 million or found a more suitable option. Once the case reaches the third party, the arbitrator can only select one of the two numbers presented to them. It’s also not based on current performance; instead, it’s derived from the previous season’s production. Samson reiterated what fans sometimes forget:
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