Ken Rosenthal reports that the Nationals, Orioles and Padres are pursuing both Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.
Two seats, three teams playing the game. I guess it’s a shame that Lance Berkman thought it was a good idea to become a right fielder, because then everyone could have their second-tier first baseman.
As it is, you have to figure that the Nats and Orioles are more likely destinations. Partially because they may be more willing to spend money than the Padres, but also because Petco Park is a way tougher place to hit than Camden Yards or Nationals Park. Both LaRoche and Lee are probably looking at one-year deals during which they’ll want to build value. Having their power numbers crater due to moving to San Diego and facing the Giants and the Dodgers pitching staffs 36 times or whatever it is can’t seem too tempting.
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.