Some Red Sox odds and ends from Peter Gammons

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Now that Peter Gammons is officially back covering the Red Sox as a part of his NESN gig, he probably feels a lot more comfortable simply working the Boston sources he’s cultivated for thirty some-odd years, and we get the benefit of it.  He was on WEEI the other day and offered the following Sox tidbits:

  • Forget the renewed interest in Jason Bay stuff. Not happening. They made their best offer last summer, it was no better (and maybe worse) than what the Mets have out there now, and it’s not getting any better. My thought: if Bay does go back to the Sox anyway, how much of an eff-you is that to the Mets? Then again, given how long he’s left them hanging on their current offer, the eff-you is already implied;
  • No matter how much people want it to happen, the Sox and the Padres haven’t even talked about potential players that would be involved in an Adrain Gonzalez deal.  As I and many others have noted in the past, Jed Hoyer is the one GM in baseball who can’t be hoodwinked by Theo when it comes to Red Sox prospects, so rather than the Padres and Sox being ideal trading partners, they’re actually horribly matched;
  • Better bet for a big bat in Boston: an early-season Detroit Tigers swoon followed by a trade for Miguel Cabrera.  Yes, he’s more expensive than Gonzalez, but because of that he could no doubt be more easily had;
  • Jacoby Ellsbury is going to play a lot of left field.  Reason: it will help save his legs, and since Mike Cameron is in the fold, it won’t mean much of a defensive hit. Ulterior motive I’m totally making up but which seems plausible: Ellsbury as a left fielder would have lower arbitration comparables than Ellsbury as a centerfielder.  Though I’ll admit, I don’t know that the Sox really think that way;
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka is in “unbelievable shape.”  I don’t suppose that fitness will translate into him working any faster, will it? I’d like to be able to watch one of his starts without falling asleep one of these years.
  • Some wishy-washy talk about how Mike Lowell could be an important contributor and presence and all of that.  I still think they pay for him to to go someplace else.

Lots of other Red Sox dish at the link.  Plenty to chew on with your holiday leftovers.

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.