Scott Boras is still pulling the "mystery team" stuff

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With Johnny Damon this time. Here’s Madden at the Daily News:

Still, as recently as a couple of days ago, there was renewed
dialogue between Damon, Boras and the Yankees in which the Yankees made
one last attempt to have a good Yankee remain a Yankee.

“Tell us your bottom line for what you’re willing to play for,” they
said, “and if it’s in the realm of where our budget needs to be we can
go to ownership and see if something can be worked out.” But instead of giving them a
number, Boras came back with more of his patented “mystery team”
hogwash, claiming he had a couple of other offers they were still
considering.

I can’t believe he’s still pulling the “mystery team” garbage. Sure, it still works on the Cardinals, but you’d figure every other team would know how ridiculous a gambit it truly is by now. I mean, it’s become so transparent that not even Heyman bit this time.

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.