Type A and Type B free agent rankings

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MLB Trade Rumors has been reverse-engineering the free agent ranking system all season, providing regular updates on Type A and Type B players, and now they’ve gotten their hands on the official rankings from Elias Sports Bureau.

No big surprises, although as usual there are some head-scratchers.

I wrote last offseason about how the compensation system always overrates relievers and sure enough guys like Darren Oliver, Matt Capps, and Octavio Dotel qualify as Type A while vastly superior players like Aramis Ramirez and Mark Buehrle are Type B.

CC Sabathia and Albert Pujols lead a total of 25 players qualified for Type A status, which means if their old teams offers them arbitration and the players decline any team signing them would have to forfeit next year’s first-round pick (or second-round pick, if their first-rounder is among the top 15 selections).

Type B free agents can be signed without losing a draft pick, but will fetch a supplemental first-rounder for their old team (assuming arbitration is offered and declined first).

To see the whole list, check out MLB Trade Rumors.

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.