And you thought the Gold Glove awards were screwy: the Dodgers were just named the Topps Organization of the Year. The Topps award is given to club that “has shown outstanding performance, depth and talent throughout their Major and Minor League teams.”
I guess that technically doesn’t include the owners’ suite, but can you imagine working for one of the 29 teams that aren’t currently being ripped asunder by organizational strife and seeing the results of this award? Yikes.
And even if they don’t count the ownership stuff, Topps does know that this is the team that traded a great young pitcher for a month of Octavio Dotel, don’t they?
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.