Braves outfielder Michael Bourn has registered an impressive .291/.352/.424 slash line with 29 stolen bases and a career-high nine home runs over 524 plate appearances this season. But the impending free agent probably won’t be back in Atlanta in 2013.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Braves “aren’t holding out much hope that they can re-sign Bourn when he becomes a free agent” because the asking price will likely be too high.
Bourn, a client of super agent Scott Boras, was named an All-Star for the second time in his career back in July.
He’s an elite defender and should command a sizable contract on a free agent market that looks to be weak.
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.