Yankees, CC Sabathia agree to contract extension

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Well, here’s a surprise.

CC Sabathia just announced that he has agreed to a contract extension with the Yankees.

Most expected Sabathia would opt out of the remaining four years and $92 million on his contract and test free agency, but both sides worked hard to hammer out a new deal before tonight’s deadline.

As Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports, this essentially is a one-year contract extension. Sabathia will earn $25 million in 2016 while Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that the contract includes a $25 million vesting option for 2017 or a $5 million buyout. The 31-year-old left-hander is now guaranteed $122 million over the next five years, or $24.4 million per year, which tops Cliff Lee ($24 million) for the highest average annual value for a pitcher.

UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the option for 2017 automatically vests unless Sabathia ends the 2016 season on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, spends more than 45 days on the disabled list in 2016 due to a shoulder injury or makes at least six relief appearances in 2016 due to shoulder issues.

UPDATE II: The Yankees are currently holding a conference call and have sent out a press release. This baby is official.

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.