Orioles will be forced to make decision on Freddy Garcia soon

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko notes that Freddy Garcia may opt out of his contract with the Orioles after he makes his next start with Triple-A Norfolk, meaning the team will soon be forced to make a decision about the right-hander. The 36-year-old currently has a 2.61 ERA in 25.2 innings with a cool 16-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Orioles demoted Jake Arrieta after his April 21 start, his fourth, left his ERA at an unsightly 6.63. However, he tossed six scoreless innings with Norfolk in his most recent start and will be the team’s main consideration in making a decision on Garcia’s future. Josh Stinson was promoted in Arrieta’s absence, but he got hit around by the Blue Jays and was immediately sent back down to Norfolk.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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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.