Miguel Tejada joins 300-homer club

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Miguel Tejada took Ted Lilly deep Wednesday night to become the 129th player in major league history to reach 300 homers.
It was Tejada’s eighth homer in 194 at-bats since the Padres picked him up prior to the trade deadline. He hit just seven in 401 at-bats for the Orioles over the first four months of the season.
Tejada ranks third all-time for homers as a shortstop with 289. Only Cal Ripken (345) and Alex Rodriguez (344) have hit more. Ernie Banks is fourth at 277.
Tejada is also third on the all-time list for homers by a player who spent the bulk of his career as a shortstop. A-Rod, of course, tops that one, with 608 homers to date, but he’ll probably finish his career with more games at third than at short. If that’s the case, only Ripken, with 431 homers, would have more than Tejada. Robin Yount is fourth at 251, followed by Jose Valentin (249), Vern Stephens (247), Derek Jeter (234) and Nomar Garciaparra (229).
Those will be interesting facts in building a Cooperstown case for Tejada someday. He’s never really seemed like a Hall of Famer, but by the time he’s eligible, he’ll rank second or third all-time for homers by a shortstop and somewhere between fifth and seventh in RBI (depending on how one wants to rank A-Rod and whether Jeter passes him). He also won an MVP award, and he amassed a very impressive consecutive games streak (he played in 162 games in six straight seasons). I don’t think he belongs, but there’s an argument to be made.

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.