Dodgers bring back Gagne

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The Dodgers have come to terms with former closer Eric Gagne on a minor league contract, the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez reports.
Gagne was also offered a minor league deal by the Rockies. Coming back from a shoulder injury, he pitched in the independent Can-Am League last year and went 6-6 with a 4.65 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 102 2/3 innings as a starter. He was last seen in the majors with the Brewers in 2008.
Gagne will enter camp as a major long shot to crack the Dodgers’ staff, but if he’s willing to head to Triple-A for a couple of months, he might be able to work his way back. It would, of course, be his second stint for the team. Gagne won a Cy Young Award in 2003 and saved 161 games in parts of eight seasons with the Dodgers.

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.