What the heck is a "pillow contract?"

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That’s what Boras called Beltre’s deal with the Red Sox a little while ago. When the roomful of reporters couldn’t grok his meaning, he explained what he meant:

“A pillow contract is, basically, you lay down, it’s comfortable, it’s soft, it’s there. But the fact of the matter is it’s not with you all the time. That’s a one-year contract. Your pillow, you leave it, you come back, it’s there,” said Boras. “Short-term, you use it for a little bit, then you move on.”

Few people know this, but Boras has been giving nicknames to his contracts for years. For example, given that the Cardinals are never going to be rid of it, Boras refers to the Holliday’s deal a “herpes 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.