Agent Scott Boras told reporters at the winter meetings yesterday that Ivan Rodriguez won’t be re-signing with the Nationals, saying: “I think their plan at the moment excludes him.”
Rodriguez backed up Wilson Ramos this year, but the Nationals still have Jesus Flores around and there are a couple intriguing catcher prospects coming up through the minors.
As for where the future Hall of Famer may wind up, Boras indicated that Rodriguez will be looking for a backup role and “there are still a number of teams that are evaluating him and that situation.”
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post speculates that the Marlins could be a fit, as Rodriguez won a World Series there in 2003 and could play sparingly behind starter John Buck.
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.