Brewers, Rockies and Rays all over Zaun

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I was sort of joking about Gregg Zaun calling his office earlier but it looks like he’ll have to soon, as Rosenthal has Milwaukee, Colorado and Tampa Bay all wanting a part of Z-Game.

In addition to have the best personal website of any backup catcher in baseball, Zaun is probably the best remaining backup catcher still floating around out there and would be a good addition to any of those teams. If the Rays keep him you have to figure that they’re going to cut bait on Dioner Navarro, however, as they would then have Zaun and Shoppach under contract.

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.