Erick Fedde, 29, finished his sixth big league season (6-13) with a 5.81 ERA, 5.15 FIP, 58 walks (4.11 BB/9), 94 strikeouts (6.66 K/9), and a .293/.362/.471 line against in his 27 starts and 127 innings pitched on the season.
In six seasons in the majors, the 2014 1st Round pick, taken 18th overall out of UNLV, is (21-33) with a 5.41 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 3.78 BB/9, 6.97 K/9, and a .282/.352./471 line against over 102 games, 88 starts, and 454 1⁄3 IP.
Fedde earned $2.15M in 2022, avoiding arbitration with the Nationals last offseason, and he was due to get a raise to around $3.6M for 2023 according to MLBTraderumors.com’s 2023 projections.
On Friday night, in advance of this year’s deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players, the Nats non-tendered the righty, sending the starter to the free agent market.
Erick Fedde, Dirty 78mph Curveball. pic.twitter.com/24lngTnNWH— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 25, 2022
“He struggled,” Nats’ manager Davey Martinez said in summing up Fedde’s 2022 run in the immediate aftermath of his final start of the season, which saw the starter give up nine hits, two of them home runs, two walks, and nine earned runs in 2 1⁄3 IP.
“He struggled, you know, and when I talk to him I talk to him about — he needs to create his own identity and figure out who he wants to be and what he wants to do moving forward. I know he’s got to get better. We talk about he’s got to attack the strike zone. Location is a big thing for him. Throwing the ball where he wants to. Got to develop his changeup a little bit better, but he’s got a live arm, and when he’s on he’s really good. But it’s consistency with him. He’s got to start getting consistent every five days.”
Fedde’s take on his sixth big league season?
“For the most part, I think I took the ball every five days, whether I was feeling good or not,” Fedde said, as quoted by MASN’s Mark Zuckerman back on October 5th.
“I went out there and felt like I competed for pretty much every start that I could’ve. I still want to go deeper in games, be a little more effective. Those things will come with lots of hard work over this offseason.”
Unfortunately, the ability to go deeper into his outings was something GM Mike Rizzo said he needed to improve upon early this past season, telling 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies in an April 20th appearance what he thought Fedde needed to do to take the next step as a big league starter.
“His pitch efficiency, his strike-throwing efficiency, needs to improve for him to go deeper into games,” Rizzo said, “... and I think that’s his goal obviously, and his next step is to be a guy that pitches deep into games for us, and I realize that there’s not a lot of people in the league pitching 7-8 innings, with the exception of Max [Scherzer] and those type of guys, but we need our starters to go deeper into games, because when they do, you see our record. It’s hard to cover 5-5 1⁄3 innings on a consistent basis with your bullpen.”
Apparently the Nationals decided against giving Fedde $3.6M-ish he was projected to get for 2023. This past Friday night, the club non-tendered the starter.