Baltimore has been linked to Prince Fielder at various points this offseason, but locally their odds of actually signing the free agent slugger are perceived as very slim.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that “the Orioles aren’t going to give eight or more years or $18 or more million per year to a Fielder” and adds “just isn’t going to happen.”
If his demands drop considerably that could certainly change, but Connolly says several team sources he’s spoken to recently indicated that the Orioles aren’t even strongly pursuing Fielder.
Instead he expects the Orioles to spend on pitching, and perhaps fellow Scott Boras client Edwin Jackson.
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.