Keith Law to stay at ESPN after interviewing with Astros

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UPDATE: Two weeks after news that he’d interviewed for a spot in the Astros’ front office, Law just tweeted: “I have chosen to stay with ESPN. It was a difficult decision, and I’m very grateful to the Astros for the opportunity.”

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ESPN.com writer and former Blue Jays special assistant Keith Law recently interviewed for a job in the Astros’ front office, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Rosenthal reports that “Law met with both new club president George Postolos and general manager Jeff Luhnow, but the team has yet to offer him a position, sources say.”

Prior to joining then-general manager J.P. Riccardi in the Blue Jays’ front office Law wrote for Baseball Prospectus and he’s been with ESPN.com since 2006, focusing primarily on prospect and draft analysis.

Law would be a very interesting hire for the Astros’ new regime–and in my admittedly biased opinion, a very smart hire–although I’d miss his ESPN.com analysis, Twitter snark, and various food-related blogging.

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.