Selig: the Dodgers’ financial woes are “historic”

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Bud Selig gave a commencement speech in Wisconsin today. Before he went on, he referred to the Dodgers’ financial problems as “historic” and, according to the AP, dodged (ha!) speculation that Major League Baseball would assist the Dodgers in any way short of just taking them over when they fail to make payroll later this month.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Frank McCourt yesterday asked the court to issue an order allowing him to sign that TV deal with Fox that he claims is a panacea but which Jamie McCourt and, presumably, Major League Baseball believes is not in the club’s best interests. In that article, Bill Shaikin quotes a “person familiar with Selig’s thinking” as saying that “If he doesn’t make payroll, it’s over.”  Meaning an MLB takeover.  And that will happen before the June hearing date set by the judge.

All of which will be moot if The Rapture does come tomorrow. Otherwise, McCourt’s days at the helm of the Dodgers look to be nearing their own End Times.

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.