For the past few months the Pirates have tried unsuccessfully to trade Ryan Doumit and his $5.1 million contract for 2011, but now the catcher/outfielder is sidelined by an oblique injury.
Doumit was scratched from yesterday’s game after feeling soreness while taking batting practice and there’s no timetable yet for his return, with Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com correctly noting that “oblique injuries often have a tendency to linger.”
Several teams are in the market for catching help following early injuries, but Doumit’s name hasn’t really been linked to many trade rumors at any point and a typical recovery period for an oblique strain would all but rule out the Pirates being able to move him before Opening Day.
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.