George Steinbrenner will be honored in Monument Park

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From MLB.com’s Bailey Stephens comes word that the Yankees will honor late owner George Steinbrenner with a plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park on September 20 of this year.

“We remain profoundly grateful and touched by the many expressions of
sympathy and support from so many,” the Steinbrenner family said in a written
statement. “We know we will always share George’s memory with Yankees fans
everywhere, and a monument in his honor to be located in Monument Park
will reflect the special connection, appreciation and responsibility
that George felt for New York Yankees’ fans everywhere as they were
always uppermost in his mind.”

Steinbrenner took over as principal owner of the Yankees in 1973 and helped return to the organization to its current elite status.  In honor of where the Yanks were when he took over and where they sit now as the most recognizable franchise on the planet, Steinbrenner will be given a spot next to on-field greats like Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, and Babe Ruth.

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.