Sad news from the Mets, as Willie Harris has left the team and been placed on the bereavement list after his wife lost their baby five months into her pregnancy.
Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Harris’ wife unexpectedly went into early labor last night and the baby passed away this morning. The couple has two other children.
To replace Harris on the roster the Mets have called up Fernando Martinez, who’s been up and down several times over the years while hitting .186 in 143 plate appearances. Martinez’s prospect stock has steadily fallen and he was hitting just .266 with a .740 OPS at Triple-A, but he’s still just 23 years old.
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.