Max Fried, AJ Minter Avoid Arbitration

Max Fried A.J. Minter
(Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Atlanta Braves have agreed to deals with pitchers Max Fried and A.J. Minter, avoiding arbitration hearings. Both are critical players for Atlanta; both players have been with the team since 2017. In 2021, Fried and Minter were vital to Atlanta’s second World Series title.

Max Fried

A sought-after player in the upcoming free agent class, Max Fried is one of the top left-handed pitchers in baseball. Many teams should look at Fried’s impending free agency, and he could cash in a big deal next winter. Unfortunately for Max, last season was not healthy, as he struggled with a forearm injury on the 60-day IL. After his return, he obtained a finger blister, which carried into the postseason. He struggled during his one postseason start, allowing three earned runs on six hits, four walks, and a home run across four innings.

Although Fried’s one postseason start was not strong, his regular season was good.  In 2022, Fried finished second in Cy Young voting and won a Gold Glove. In 2023, he posted an 8–1 record, 2.55 ERA, 3.14 FIP, and 1.133 WHIP across 14 starts. Fried was good when he pitched for Atlanta and posted a 25.7 K%, his highest since 2018.

Avoiding arbitration, Fried will earn $15 million for the 2024 season. His agency and Atlanta Braves representatives will work heavily on discussing a contract extension this season. Fried, who turns 30 on January 18, will have an interesting case for his AAV and bonuses.

A.J. Minter

Another upcoming free agent for Atlanta, A.J. Minter‘s 2023 season was trending backward, unlike his previous 2022 season. In 2022, Minter posted a 2.06 ERA, 2.13 FIP, and a 0.914 WHIP. In 2023, he posted a 3.76 ERA, 2.90 FIP, and a 1.191 WHIP across 64 2/3 innings. Minter’s injury history is light, with only two shoulder injuries occurring in 2019 and 2023. In 2023, his shoulder injury brought a stint on the 15-day IL.

Minter, who avoids arbitration by accepting a $6.22 million offer, will discuss terms with the Braves pending his looming free agency. He will turn 31 at the end of the 2024 season on September 2nd. Braves GM Alex Anthopolous will look to extend a vital piece to his bullpen.

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Brooks Thomason

As a up and coming writer, Brooks has been born and raised as an Atlanta Braves fan. Going through the years of Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, and Brian McCann as a kid, to Freddie Freeman, and Acuña, Brooks has seen Braves stars come and go. However, his fandom always remains with Braves Country.

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