Jose Canseco is still trying to play baseball

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Jose Canseco is 47 years-old. He spent last summer as a player/manager in the independent Golden League, where he hit .256/.371/427.  But that’s not stopping him: he just signed to play this year for the Quintana Roo Tigers of the Mexican League. The team plays in Cancun, so I guess he’ll at least have some fun while he’s down there.

But fun isn’t what’s on his mind. He sees this as a path back to the majors. His statement:

“I am thrilled to be back in affiliated professional baseball. Playing and managing for the independent league Yuma Scorpions last year really rekindled my love for the game and facing the veteran players in that league made me realize that I can still hit at the major league level. I am grateful that Cancun has given me this opportunity and I hope to help them to a championship season and demonstrate that I can help a big league team.”

I go back and forth between thinking that Canseco’s desire to play in the majors again is pathetic and thinking that’s it kind of sweet in a twisted way. I mean, sure, he’s completely detached from reality, but maybe that detachment is actually the only thing that helps him get through the damn day.

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.