In news that throws cold water on speculation about contenders pursuing Aramis Ramirez as their new third baseman, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that he’ll be on the disabled list for at least another 10-14 days.
Ramirez is recovering from a left knee injury that’s been an issue since spring training and Rosenthal’s reported timetable would rule out a trade before the July 31 deadline. Ramirez could still be moved in August, assuming he comes back healthy and looks like his old self, but at that point the Brewers would need him to pass through waivers unclaimed or be limited to negotiating with the team that claimed him.
Ramirez is signed for next season at $16 million, plus a mutual option or $4 million buyout for 2015, so some teams might be unwilling to assume that whole salary in a waiver claim for a 35-year-old.
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.