Jim Tracy feeling better after Winter Meetings collapse

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Last week’s Winter Meetings had a couple of scares.  First, it was Jayson Werth’s humongous seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals that sent a shockwave of dollar signs through the baseball world.  Then it was Rockies manager Jim Tracy collapsing in the hotel lobby.

Werth is still counting his money.  Tracy, too, is doing just fine.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post passes along word that the 54-year-old skipper was in Colorado for organizational meetings this week and is now back at his part-time Bradenton, Florida home, free of the symptoms that caused him to lose his balance in Orlando 11 days ago.

Tracy was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, but cardiologists found no reason to keep him hospitalized longer than a day.  Well, 12 hours to be exact.

“I feel strong. And I really do believe that I will feel better than ever this spring,” Tracy told Renck. “I can’t wait to get the season going again. It was scary, but this could end up helping me. … It did make me think about a lot of things.”

The Rockies begin Cactus League play in Arizona on February 26 against the Diamondbacks.

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.