Are the Yankees really playing it cheap with Mo Rivera?

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Yankees, already in a public free agent battle with shortstop Derek Jeter, are now at odds with Mariano Rivera about a contract for next season.

Rivera wants a two-year deal worth around $18 million per season but the Yanks only want to give him a one-year pact.

First reaction?  The Steinbrenner kids are serious about running the club like a business and not spending wildly like the pinstriped teams of the past.  They’re really going to play hardball with the old timers.

Second reaction?  Rivera won’t be treated like Jeter, because Mo is still a highly effective player and worth a little outlandish cash for a couple of final seasons.  The 40-year-old closer turned in a 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP this past year while holding opposing hitters to a .187 batting average.  Jeter, meanwhile, registered a career-worst .270/.340/.370 batting line and showed poor range at the shortstop position.

The Yankees’ three-year, $45 million offer to Jeter is a generous one.  I think we all need to be reminded of that.

Brian Cashman and Co. will concede on Rivera — probably not at a total of cost of $36 million, but they’ll concede.  They shouldn’t on Jeter.

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.