Scott Boras brokers the smallest deal of his career

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Great anecdote regarding Adrian Beltre’s signing with the Rangers in today’s Star-Telegram:

Adrian Beltre has worn jersey No. 29 almost his entire 13-year career. Julio Borbon has worn it his entire two-year career.Guess who is will wear it in 2011?

Scott Boras, who represents both players, handled the situation.

“I said, ‘Julio, there are traditions in the game, and I’ve got good news and bad news,'” Boras recalled. “‘The bad news is that the veteran player gets the number. The good news is that I am your advocate in negotiating with a very wealthy player to get you a very nice watch.”

Borbon will wear No. 20.

And I assume that Boras gets to wear the watch two days a week.

As far as negotiations over numbers go, however, there never was anyone better than Jeff Feagles, the former NFL punter.  Feagles wore number 17 for the Giants when Plaxico Burress came to town.  Feagles got Burress to pay for an outdoor kitchen at his vacation home in Phoenix in exchange for it. Before that, Feagles was number 10 when Eli Manning joined the team.  He got Manning to send the Feagles family on a vacation to Florida in order to give it up.

Feagles should probably just open his own consulting business focusing on numbers exchanges.

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.