Reds interested in extending Francisco Cordero’s contract

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Francisco Cordero’s contract has a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season and general manager Walt Jocketty admitted yesterday that the Reds “are trying to determine” what their best course of action will be.

Cordero has said he’d be open to renegotiating the deal and Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the Reds “have discussed it quite a bit” and an extension is a “possibility.”

Jocketty added that “hopefully we’ll address it before the end of the season,” so if a Cordero extension is going to happen it may take place very soon.

Aroldis Chapman would the obvious choice to replace Cordero as closer, but the Reds have indicated that they want to give him an opportunity to be a starter in 2012. Cordero has been very effective this season, converting 32 of 37 save chances with a 2.30 ERA in 63 innings, but at age 36 his strikeout rate has plummeted to a career-low 5.7 per nine innings and the idea of guaranteeing him big money for multiple seasons might be even less appealing than simply paying him $12 million in 2012.

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.