John Maine hasn’t pitched in the bigs since he had shoulder surgery in July of 2010. He pitched pretty poorly for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season and in Colorado Springs the season before. At times he has contemplated retirement and, at other times, it seems like teams had decided to make that decision for him.
But he’s giving it another shot: The Marlins have signed him to a minor league deal. It’d be something to see him make it back. And I suppose if he has a chance to make it back anyplace it’s for a team that has basically punted winning, eschews anything approaching big salaries and plays in a pitcher’s park. But really, the chances of Maine making it back are not great.
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.