The Rays Republic

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Who says you gotta move the Rays out of the AL East? They’re fitting in just fine. WEEI’s Alex Speier just passed along this quote from Joe Madden:

“The Red Sox have got the
Nation. The Yankees have the universe. We’ve created The Rays Republic.”

I like it! But why stop there?

How about the Cubs Constitutional Monarchy!  The Athletics Anarchy! The Mariners Military Junta! The Diamondbacks Demarchy! The Giants Gerontocracy would actually be pretty appropriate for that team. As would the Dodgers Kelptocracy. The Orioles Oligarchy! The Twins Timocracy!  The possibilities are endless!

Wait, that’s not true. We can pretty much stop this nonsense any time now.

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.