According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Mets plan to interview former Nationals manager Jim Riggleman for their bench coach vacancy. The team has an opening after bench coach Ken Oberkfell was let go last week as part of a staff shakeup.
Riggleman stepped down as Nationals manager in June out of frustration with his contract situation, but has plenty of experience in the dugout and knows a thing or two about the National League East. He also has a good relationship with Mets manager Terry Collins dating back to their time together as teammates in the Dodgers’ minor league system.
Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reported last week that Riggleman, as well as former Athletics manager Bob Geren, former Mariners manager John McLaren, and former Phillies manager Larry Bowa were under consideration for the job.
UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the Mets will also interview former Athletics manager Bob Geren for their bench coach opening. Geren compiled a 334-376 record over 4 1/2 seasons as manager in Oakland before being fired this June.
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.