Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston reports that the Tigers have begun making a push for Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell.
The Tigers lost starting third baseman Brandon Inge to a fractured left hand on Tuesday and Magglio Ordonez to a fractured ankle on Saturday night. Lowell, despite his fair share of injury concerns, will bring some much-needed pop to the Detroit lineup. The 36-year-old hit .290/.337/.474 with 17 home runs last season and has collected two home runs in limited action this year.
Detroit is trying to keep pace with the White Sox and Twins in the American League Central. As of Sunday morning, Chicago has a 2.5 game lead and the Twins are a half-game up on the Tigers.
For now, Lowell remains on the disabled list. He will need to be activated before a deal can be struck, but the Red Sox were probably close to bringing him back anyway. After all, he went 4-for-4 with two RBI in a rehab game Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket. Sunday may be his last day in the minor leagues.
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.