Rafael Soriano to undergo precautionary MRI on “tender” elbow

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Well, nobody could have predicted this one.

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Rafael Soriano will undergo a precautionary MRI after he showed up to the ballpark today with what Yankees manager Joe Girardi called a “tender” elbow.

Soriano, who signed a three-year, $35 million contract with the Yankees over the winter, has a 5.79 ERA and 9/9 K/BB ratio over his first 14 innings of work this season. The 31-year-old right-hander previously underwent Tommy John surgery in August of 2004 and had exploratory surgery on the elbow in August of 2008.

Soriano tells Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com that he’s fine, but it will be interesting to hear Brian Cashman’s comments if the MRI reveals something serious.

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.