Yankees, A-Rod, slowly getting back on the same page … with an assist from Derek Jeter

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You get the impression that the Yankees have figured out that the cuckoo 36 hours or so in which A-Rod tweeted, Cashman bleated and then the rumors about A-Rod’s sinister plot to do, well, something, weren’t in the team’s best interestes. Because based on this story in the Daily News, things are sorta getting back to normal:

Derek Jeter, also rehabbing in Tampa, said Thursday that Rodriguez, who has missed the first three months of the season due to hip surgery in January, looks like he can still be a contributing player to the Yankees.

“Alex works extremely hard,” said Jeter, who is in Tampa to rehab the left ankle he broke during the 2012 playoffs. “He is working hard now to get back.”

Then:

Meanwhile, a Yankee source and a Rodriguez spokesperson both shot down multiple reports that A-Rod had told the Yankees — including GM Brian Cashman and team president Randy Levine on a call Wednesday — that he didn’t think he could come back this year.

The Yankee source told the Daily News the reports are “fantasy.”

If the Captain offers some support in A-Rod’s direction and the team calls a report that makes A-Rod look bad a “fantasy” one gets the sense that a decision has been made to try to put this fire out.

My guess: next thing we hear from anyone in all of this will be when A-Rod is actually cleared to play.

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.