Phillies expected to chat with Jimmy Rollins’ agent tomorrow

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Jimmy Rollins’ agent, Dan Lozano, is expected to chat with Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. tomorrow.

The two sides had multiple meetings at this week’s Winter Meetings in Dallas, but despite your typical rumor madness, they aren’t yet close to a deal.

The Brewers signed shortstop Alex Gonzalez yesterday, which would seem to take away one of Rollins’ biggest potential suitors. The Cardinals make some sense now that Albert Pujols signed with the Angels, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote this morning that they “would be reluctant to enter the bidding for Rollins” if he doesn’t back down from his desire for a five-year deal. Another thing to think about is that the Cardinals might not want to be used as leverage by Lozano (also Pujols’ agent, if you remember) when most feel he will end up back with the Phillies.

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.