After getting totally boned by the Hall of Fame for decades, Ron Santo will once again be up for consideration as part of the new-look Veterans Committee process.
At this year’s Winter Meetings Santo — and 10 other former players — will be up for votes as part of the “Golden Era” slate of candidates (there are now three eras which get considered in turn every three years). The other nine: Minnie Minoso, Buzzie Bavasi, Jim Katt, Allie Reynolds, Ken Boyer, Luis Tiant, Charlie O. Finley, Gil Hodges and Tony Oliva.
Of that crowd I think Santo and Minoso belong. Of course, I won’t have any confidence in the Veterans Committee — new look or otherwise — until they get it right for once. For years and years it let way too many unworthy guys in and then, in an overreaction, for too long passed over worthy candidates.
Put in Santo and Minoso, folks.
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.