For the second year in a row, the Mets are prepared to sit out the trade deadline, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman, even as they seem well on their way to a fifth straight sub-.500 season.
The Mets haven’t shown any interest in moving pieces like closer Bobby Parnell and second baseman Daniel Murphy, and the lone veteran they seem open to moving, outfielder Marlon Byrd, isn’t drawing much interest from contender, even though he’s been very useful while hitting .282/.325/.512 with 17 homers in 330 at-bats this season.
While the Mets certainly have their reasons for keeping players like Parnell, Murphy and right-hander Dillon Gee, the fact is that they have to give something to get something. And since they’ve been unable to sign veterans and turn them into summer trade bait, all they really have to barter with is the young-ish players they’ve developed themselves.
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.