Utilityman Ryan Freel opts for retirement

1 Comment

ryan freel.jpg34-year-old Ryan Freel has chosen to retire after playing in nine games in the independent Atlantic League, according to Mike Ashmore of the Hunterdon County Democrat.
After the Reds dumped his contract following the 2008 season, Freel washed out in the Orioles, Cubs and Royals organizations last year, hitting .193/.290/.216 in 88 at-bats.
While he never established himself at any position, Freel was a very valuable player for the Reds from 2004-06. He hit between .270-.280 with OBPs in the .360-.380 range all three seasons and stole a total of 110 bases.
Freel, though, had big problems staying healthy after 2006. It was certainly in part due to his reckless style of play on the field, yet there were also concerns about how he was handling his affairs off the field. Freel was charged with DUI in 2005, and he was arrested in 2006 on disorderly intoxication charges.
Freel finishes his career with a .258/.354/.369 line and 143 steals in 1,983 at-bats.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.