Mark Cuban is not interested in the Mets or the Dodgers

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There aren’t many sure things in this world, but one sure thing is that whenever a baseball team’s ownership situation is in flux, people will start mentioning Mark Cuban’s name.  This time Cuban is making a preemptive strike:

“I’m not chasing any more baseball teams … “I’ve just come to the conclusion, if I’m going to write a huge check, I’d rather be wooed than have to chase … whether it’s here or the Dodgers, for that matter, I’m not going to put myself in a bidding situation.”

The “here” referred to the Mets.

I get why people always think about Cuban in these situations. He owns a sports franchise already and has expressed interest in at least two baseball teams in the past. But if you believe Wikipedia, there are over 400 billionaires in the United States alone.  Figure there are scores more Chuck Greenberg-types (i.e. mere millionaires who can wrangle together a number of rich investors).  As such, it’s always a smarter bet to pick “the field” before focusing on Cuban.  And that’s before you even figure in baseball’s alleged reluctance to allow Cuban into the ownership club.

No one ever mentions, I dunno, Jerry Yang or George Lucas or Michael Dell or any of the other people scads of money.  Heck, maybe we should start a new category of billionaire rumor-mongering.  That would keep us occupied until spring training starts.

Heard this: Gordon Getty was seen buying a Dodgers cap at an Inglewood gas station yesterday …

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.