Report: Sandy Alderson nixed talk of Mike Pelfrey becoming Mets’ closer in 2012

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Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that manager Terry Collins recently asked Mike Pelfrey if he’d be willing to serve as the Mets’ closer next season and the 27-year-old right-hander agreed, but general manager Sandy Alderson shot down the idea before it gained much traction.

Collins declined to discuss the situation and Martino writes that a move to the bullpen “almost certainly will not happen,” but the fact that it was discussed is interesting given Pelfrey’s struggles this season.

On the surface Pelfrey has declined sharply, going from 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA last season to 6-10 with a 4.61 ERA this year, but his strikeout and walks rates remain nearly identical. The big difference has been serving up 19 homers in 154 innings after allowing a total of just 12 homers in 204 innings last season.

New York’s bullpen needs plenty of help for 2012 and beyond, but the Mets aren’t exactly overflowing with rotation depth either and Pelfrey’s complete lack of experience as a reliever means he’s no sure thing to thrive in the bullpen anyway. Moving him from a 200-inning role to a 70-inning role doesn’t make a ton of sense.

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.