UPDATE: That was quick. According to the Associated Press, Bobby V has already accepted Cashman’s challenge. Next December, it’s on.
8:14 AM: Brian Cashman rappelled down a 22-story building in Stamford, Connecticut last year for that city’s “Heights and Lights” ceremony. He’s doing it again as I speak.
One would think that this is highly dangerous business. I mean, if that city had a public safety official with any kind of stature, he’s put an end to it this instant! Someone, tell me! Who is Stamford’s Director of Public Safety?!
Oh, wait. I see your game, Valentine. I see your game.
Anyway, Cashman took the opportunity this morning to have fun with it. Before he went over the edge he — seriously — publicly challenged Stamford’s own Bobby V. to join him next year.
“You go first.”
Yankees-Red Sox, baby.
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.