Major League Baseball, Anheuser-Busch bury the hatchet

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Remember how Anheuser-Bush sued Major League Baseball back in November.  Sadly the lawsuit has been settled:

Anheuser-Busch Inc. said Thursday that it reached a new sponsorship agreement with Major League Baseball and dropped the lawsuit it filed against the league in November.

The multi-year agreement designates Budweiser as the official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball.

The U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s largest brewer, sued the league’s licensing arm in a New York federal court in November, claiming that it reneged on a multiyear renewal of the sponsorship rights and demanded “exponentially higher” fees.

An Anheuser spokesman declined to release financial details of the agreement. In its November lawsuit, the beer maker said it would be investing “tens of millions of dollars” in 2010 in advertising and promotions involving its Budweiser brand related to the MLB.

I suppose this is good news for baseball.  I added the “sadly” part, however, because for about ten minutes I had visions of the good people at the Rogue Brewring Company becoming the sole suppliers of tasty beverages at ballparks.  At least then I would have enjoyed handing over eight bucks for a cup of beer.

Oh well.

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.