A’s agree to contract with recently-released Brandon Inge

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Ken Rosenthal brings the heat on Brandon Inge, who was cut loose by the Tigers on Thursday:

With so many teams expressing interest — the Orioles, Twins and Diamondbacks among them — it seemed likely that Inge would take his time and carefully consider all his options. But the 11-11 Athletics can offer regular looks at third base, where they’ve shuffled through Eric Sogard, Josh Donaldson and now Luke Hughes since losing Scott Sizemore to season-ending knee surgery. And that immediate availability of playing time clearly (and, well, quickly) appealed to the 34-year-old veteran most.

Inge was batting .100 with a .400 OPS in 20 plate appearances for Detroit. He’s a .264/.340/.458 career hitter against left-handed pitchers and has 140 career home runs. He can be useful in a hot-corner platoon.

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.