Stockpiling rotation depth, the Angels have signed Wade LeBlanc to a minor-league contract after inking Chris Volstad to a minor-league deal last week.
LeBlanc posted a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings for the Marlins and Astros this year and the 28-year-old left-hander has a 4.51 career ERA in 417 innings spent mostly as a starter.
His numbers in the minors aren’t really any better, but much like Volstad he simply gives the Angels another option to compete for a fifth starter or long reliever job. And he might end up joining Volstad in the Triple-A rotation.
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.