Don Mattingly says 2014 option vesting “doesn’t mean I’ll be back” with Dodgers

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Don Mattingly’s option for next season vested when the Dodgers won the NLDS, but the manager is dropping some pretty strong hints that he doesn’t want to go on without an extension beyond 2014.

Mattingly told a group of reporters that the option vesting “doesn’t mean I’ll be back” and added that “we’ll talk about it and go from there” and “I love it here, but I don’t want to be anywhere I’m not wanted.” In other words, he wants to be under contract for more than one season.

Even if the Dodgers aren’t all that interested in giving Mattingly a multi-year extension the worst-case scenario from that would be firing him with years and millions remaining on the deal and considering all the money they’ve thrown around recently it’s hard to imagine that relative chump change really mattering to upper management.

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.