Jay Gibbons finally gets what he asked for. Now will he hold up his end of the deal?

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The Dodgers designating Garret Anderson for assignment opened up a roster spot, and the man who took it was one Jay Gibbons.  Interesting story there.

Gibbons, you’ll recall, was a Mitchell Report All-Star, having been tied up with those “rejuvenation clinics” that supplied players with HGH.  He was released by the Orioles the following spring and failed to latch on anywhere else as spring turned to summer.  In June 2008, he wrote letters to all 30 MLB teams basically pleading for a job (see the sidebar).  In the letter he said this:

I respectfully and humbly request that you grant me the chance to play
for your organization. I am so willing to prove myself as a player, and a
person, that I will donate ALL of my minor league earnings to your
Club’s charity. In the event that I earn the right to play at the major
league level, I will gladly donate a significant sum to that same
charity.

The letter bore some immediate fruit, as Gibbons was signed by the independent Long Island Ducks. Soon after that the Milwaukee Brewers took a chance on him, but he never made the big club. The Marlins gave him a look in spring training in 2009 but released him and he spent the year with the independent Newark Bears.  This year he’s been at AAA Albuquerque all season.

But now he’s back in the majors.  Query: did he give his minor league salary to the Brewers’ charity in 2008 and the Dodgers’ in 2009?  Now that he’s been called up, is he donating a “significant sum” to the Dodgers’ charity?

I’m not saying he should be forced to — the Dodgers charity has it’s own problems, so I actually hope he doesn’t, and it has been a couple of years since he made that promise — but he did say he would.

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.