Molina and the Mets are close

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After telling us about the Carlos Beltran surgery thing, Bob asked what else could go wrong for the Mets. I suppose some will differ, but giving two years to a catcher with a .285 on base percentage seems wrong to me. Morosi says they’re close to doing that with Bengie Molina. I’ve never quite understood why the Mets want him, but then again there are a lot of things I don’t understand about the Mets.

But of course he’s durable, and if you believe in signs and portents, the Beltran thing would suggest to you that just because it’s 2010 doesn’t mean that the Mets won’t have injury problems. Sure, maybe it’s better to hold the line with Molina on a one year deal, but at least having a reliable guy like him around gives you one less position you have to worry about.

  

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.