Doesn’t matter much now that a deal with the Cubs is complete, but according to Peter Gammons — and information passed along by T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com — the Rangers pushed hard for Matt Garza this week.
The Rangers were willing to part with left-hander Derek Holland, right-handed reliever Frank Francisco and prospect outfielder Engel Beltre in a potential deal. Interestingly, the Rangers also attempted to secure catcher-infielder Robinson Chirinos from the Cubs in order to include him in the trade for Garza. Of course, the Rays eventually cut out the middleman, acquiring Chirinos on their own yesterday.
According to the report, the Rays preferred the offer from the Cubs because they were willing to include top pitching prospect Chris Archer. Not only does it look like the Rays took the deal with the best long-term upside here, but there probably wouldn’t have been a spot for Holland in their rotation this season, anyway.
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.