Longtime Royals radio voice Fred White dies

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Fred White, a Royals radio broadcaster for 25 years and team employee since died yesterday due to complications from melanoma. He was 76:

White was best known for the 25 years, 1974-98, that he teamed with Denny Matthews in the Royals’ radio booth.

“I had great admiration and respect for Fred and even after he left the broadcast booth, he did a fantastic job with our radio network,” [Royals owner David] Glass said. ” … Fred was really good with the alumni and provided a lot of leadership there. So we’re just really proud of our association with him and we send our sincere condolences to Fred’s family. It’s a shock to all of us and he’s really going to be missed.”

Since 1998 he had worked in Royals media relations and coordinated alumni activities.

I had never had the opportunity to hear White’s radio work, but like Harwell with me and any number of other broadcasters with fans of other teams, it’s always sad when the voice which invited us into baseball at a young age passes. There are Royals fans from their 40 somethings on down to their late teens who first heard baseball through White’s work. Even if he hadn’t been broadcasting for a while, he will surely be missed.

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.