Giants hire Jim Riggleman as special assignment scout

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He must have nailed the interview.

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News passes along notice that the Giants hired former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman on Thursday evening to serve as a “special assignment scout,” primarily covering the National League East.

Riggleman abandoned his post as Nationals skipper on June 23 due to a contract dispute. It’s not yet known if he will try to pursue other management jobs this offseason or remain in a scouting capacity with the Giants. And that decision probably won’t be made until the end of the 2011 regular season.

Riggleman has a 662-824 career managerial record. He was 38-37 this year with the surprising Nationals.

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.