The Diamondbacks are considering making a change to a current club policy that mandates only retiring the uniform numbers of players who are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a silly policy in the first place and makes little sense for a club with less than 15 years under its belt.
“We believe it is time to revisit that particular company policy,”
D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall said. “It’s limiting and
restrictive for a franchise that is so young and successful. We have
some players who deserve consideration for their numbers to be retired,
whether or not their names are ever enshrined in the Hall of Fame.”
As noted by MLB.com’s
Steve Gilbert, such a change could also clear the way for the
of Luis Gonzalez’s No. 20. Gonzo played for the Diamondbacks for eight years (1999-2006) and was a fan favorite throughout his time in Arizona. He retired with 2,591 total major league hits, 354 home runs and a .283/.367/.479 career batting line, and he is now working within the Diamondbacks’ front office.
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.