Why did Tony LaCava turn down the Orioles?

10 Comments

Tony LaCava was very professional with his comments about the Orioles, saying they handled the interview process with class and explaining that his decision to turn down the general manager job was due to wanting to remain with the Blue Jays.

That never really passed the smell test, at least not entirely, and sure enough Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that Orioles owner Peter Angelos rebuffed LaCava’s desire to remake the team’s front office:

LaCava wanted to clear out some long-term front-office people whose jobs have been protected by Angelos. Angelos refused to do that, even though he was willing to pay LaCava a competitive salary and to bring in other front-office people that LaCava wanted to hire (including Mike Berger, currently the director of pro scouting with the Diamondbacks).

The fact that few top candidates want to work for Angelos is certainly nothing new, but Buck Showalter’s involvement and the perception that he might be the guy ultimately running the show has seemingly made the Orioles’ job even less appealing than usual. Jerry Dipoto joined LaCava in turning down the gig and the Orioles have expanded their GM search to include several candidates who weren’t involved in the first batch of interviews.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
2 Comments

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.