Phillies assistant GM Chuck LaMar resigns

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Clearly this is a move borne of his personal disgrace over helping to assemble such a horrible te — oh, wait. It’s the Phillies. I still automatically think “Devil Rays” when I hear his name.  But boy, this one is strange.  “Shocking” according to Bob Brookover of the Inquirer:

LaMar did not return phone calls or text messages from the Inquirer Tuesday night, but during an extensive review of the 2011 minor-league season last week he gave zero indication that he was about to step down. Instead, the now former assistant general manager in charge of player development raved about the farm system’s vast talent and resources.

I got it: he gave that interview before learning that, contrary to his initial impression, the Phillies future was murky at best. That had to be it. It’s something that certainly rocked the foundations of many of you guys.

Or, rather, he realizes that leaving on top is not a bad thing at all, especially when there are other GM openings in places like Chicago. I mean, I haven’t heard his name mentioned as a potential Cubs GM — and at 55 he isn’t quite the model of a young, analytical type the Cubs are reported to be interested in hiring — but there are opportunities out there for LaMar out there.

Opportunities that he’s not going to get working behind a ninja. A ninja who is considerably younger than he is.

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.