Girardi expected to get a three-year contract extension

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Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees are expected to give manager Joe Girardi a three-year contract extension. He’s expected to get $3 million a year.

This is pretty much a no-brainer. Whatever issues anyone had with Girardi during the postseason, he has done a remarkable job managing the Yankees in my view. Despite the usual pressure of New York and despite a lot of guys (i.e. A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain) being moved around or benched or what have you, the clubhouse has remained a seemingly peaceful and even downright harmonious place. Even if he walks a guy when you or I wouldn’t, Girardi deserves credit for that.

And really: who else could the Yankees possibly hire to replace him? One of the things that made letting Torre go possible a couple of years ago was the availability of Girardi.  At the moment there is no obvious heir to the job that I can see.

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.