This might be the end of the line for Chone Figgins.
First he was released by the Mariners, who chose to eat $8 million rather than keep him around for another season, and now the Marlins have released him as well.
If you can’t secure a bench spot as a veteran player with defensive versatility on what may prove to be the worst team in the entire league where do you have left to go? Other than the minors, I suppose.
Incidentally, it’s sad to think about how many photos will always exist of veteran players wearing uniforms of teams that released them in spring training. Figgins on the Marlins, Ronny Cedeno on the Cardinals, Bobby Crosby on the Brewers, Matt Diaz on the Yankees. And that’s just this week.
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.