And now some non-specific Cabrera-related news

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Two random items on a slow news day (non-Mike Leake theft division):

First, Jon Heyman writes that, in the offseason, Alex Rodriguez “begged the Yankees” to re-sign Melky Cabrera. Seems that Melky worked out with A-Rod in the offseason and was convinced that he’d be great.

I’ve seen Melky play a couple of times this year. He does look like he’s in better shape than he was last year for Atlanta. However, he looks like the same Melky we’ve always known at the plate: 70 plate appearances. One walk.  Attention A-Rod: please come to the park and hit the snot out of the ball and leave the scouting to the scouting department.

Second, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com notes that with Asdrubal Cabrera playing shortstop for the Indians, Orlando Cabrera playing second and Melky Cabrera playing for the Royals, “we have a realistic shot at a groundout that goes Cabrera to Cabrera to Cabrera.”

I can’t think of anything that would make me happier.

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.