I asked this on Twitter a few minutes ago and was sort of fascinated by the strong yet far from unanimous opinions, so I’m curious to hear what HBT nation thinks:
Would you rather be the gold medal winner in a relatively obscure Olympic sport or the 200th-best baseball player in MLB?
For me the answer is definitely the 200th-best baseball player–which is basically the seventh-best player on an average team–because that guy is most likely making millions of dollars per year for multiple years and … well, baseball is pretty great as far as sports go.
I asked Calcaterra and he agreed: “200th-best baseball player. No question.” And yet plenty of replies on Twitter felt strongly about preferring the gold medal.
What say you?
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.