UPDATE: According to David Lennon of New York Newsday, the Mets have signed Jason Isringhausen to a minor league contract with an invite to big league camp.
12:50 PM: Last month Jason Isringhausen opted not to sign with the Reds after he threw a bullpen session for pitching coach Bryan Price, so today the 38-year-old former closer tried out for the Mets.
Isringhausen hasn’t pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in mid-2009 and before that struggled with a 5.70 ERA in 43 innings for the Cardinals in 2008, but he was originally drafted by the Mets in 1991 and once upon a time was a top pitching prospect who debuted with New York as a starter in 1995.
Adam Rubin of ESPNewYork.com reports that Isringhausen threw in front of Mets assistant general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who was in Oakland’s front office when Isringhausen was the A’s closer from 1999 to 2001. He has an “open invitation” to sign a minor-league deal with the Reds, but “wanted to go somewhere and see if I could make a team.”
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.