Marlins say their offer to Albert Pujols was “nowhere near” $275 million

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Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Marlins’ final offer to Albert Pujols was $210 million for 10 years, but then later Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported their top proposal as $275 million.

Today team president David Samson vehemently denied Nightengale’s report, telling Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Marlins’ best offer was “nowhere near” $275 million and just slightly more than $200 million.

There’s been some speculation that the $275 million figure was floated by Pujols’ agent in an attempt to make it seem like he turned down more money to sign with the Angels for $254 million.

Whatever the case, the Marlins at least are saying they offered considerably less than the Angels and perhaps less than the Cardinals as well.

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.