Gammons: Bay, Sox had deal worked out in July

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Peter Gammons shed some new light on Jason Bay signing with the Mets, reporting that the Red Sox and Bay “had agreed on the framework” of a four-year, $60 million contract in July before an MRI exam raised red flags about the health of his knees.
According to Gammons the Red Sox then lowered their offer from four years to two years, at which point Bay predictably decided to hit the open market and eventually joined the Mets on a four-year, $66 million deal with a $17 million vesting option for 2014.
Previous reports about Bay ending negotiations with the Red Sox had him simply rejecting their offer, but no matter the source of details the four-year, $60 million contract has been a constant. He ended up with a bigger contract anyway, but many people have speculated that Bay would have taken slightly less money to remain in Boston.
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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.