Jaramillo to the Cubs?

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Jon Heyman tweets and then reports that the Cubs are talking to the former Rangers’ hitting coach and that “he’s likely to take the gig.” His salary would be $750,000, which would be a $150,000 raise.  Not a bad deal for a guy whose old employer didn’t want him.

From what I’ve heard from my friends in Chicago, Cubs fans would be quite pleased if this comes to pass.  But they would be remiss if they didn’t read Aaron’s take on this yesterday.

Were Jaramillo’s young charges in Texas good hitters because he coached them well, or is Jaramillo considered a good coach because his young charges were good hitters?  Having watched the Mazzone-era unfold in Atlanta and then Baltimore, I’m skeptical that a coach makes a big difference once a player makes it to the big leagues.  

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.