Mets retain Jose Reyes for $11 million

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Maybe it wasn’t quite the no-brainer everyone figured it would be a couple of years ago, but the Mets exercised their $11 million option on Jose Reyes for 2011 on Thursday, retaining the shortstop for what will be his ninth season in Queens.

Reyes was healthy for the most part last season after missing most of 2009 with calf and hamstring injuries, but he hit a modest .282/.321/.428 in 133 games.  The .749 OPS was well off his career bests of .841 as a 23-year-old in 2006 and .833 in 2008.

Most disturbing about Reyes’ season was his lack of plate discipline.  In 2007, he had a fine 77/78 K/BB ratio in 681 at-bats.  He walked 66 times in 2008, and in just 36 games in 2009, he drew 18 walks.  However, he finished with only 31 walks last season, leaving him with easily his worst on-base percentage since 2005.

Still, there was just no way the Mets could have turned down the option.  Reyes may never emerge as the superstar most envisioned him becoming, but even in a down year, he was still one of the league’s better shortstops.  Just don’t expect the Mets to pursue a multiyear deal with him this winter.  They’ll wait and see how he performs over the first couple of months of next season before they look to go down that road.

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.