Where might Delmon Young land now that he’s been released by the Phillies? How about back where it all started for him in Tampa Bay? Seriously.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports “mutual interest and conversations” between the Rays and Young, who was drafted first overall by Tampa Bay in 2003 and made his MLB debut there in 2006 before later being traded to Minnesota for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.
As the Phillies learned Young drags a team down offensively and defensively as an everyday player, but if used as a part-timer versus left-handed pitching he might be sort of useful. He’s a career .306 hitter with an .820 OPS versus lefties, compared to .273 with a .706 OPS versus righties, and the Rays could also stick him at designated hitter to alleviate Young’s massive defensive issues.
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.