Jim Edmonds and Ryan Franklin take post-retirement roles with Cardinals

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Jim Edmonds canceled his comeback attempt last spring, signing a minor-league contract with the Cardinals and then retiring before reporting to camp.

This time around he’ll be at Cardinals camp, wearing his familiar No. 15, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Edmonds will be a “special instructor.”

And according to Strauss, if things go well for Edmonds it “might lead to deeper involvement with the organization, possibly in a consultant role to general manager John Mozeliak.”

Strauss also reports that former closer Ryan Franklin has already been hired as a special assistant to the GM and “will advise Mozeliak on personnel and perform regional scouting chores based out of his Oklahoma home.” Franklin retired last season at age 38 after being released by the Cardinals in June with a 8.46 ERA in 21 appearances.

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.