After the Diamondbacks surprisingly slithered in to sign Cody Ross to a three-year, $26 million deal over the weekend, the general feeling was that they would trade one of their outfielders. Not much has changed on that front over the Christmas holiday.
One person familiar with the Diamondbacks’ thinking told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that “someone will go.” The implication here is that Justin Upton, Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra are all potentially available via trade. However, Heyman hears that the D-Backs would prefer to keep Parra because of his defense. It also helps that he’s cheap and remains under team control through 2015.
There are still quite a few teams who could be in the market for an outfielder, including the Rangers, Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Braves and Rays. The Rangers have been mentioned most frequently in trade talks for Upton this offseason, but general manager Jon Daniels has reportedly been reluctant to part with Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in a potential deal.
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.