Rockies willing to offer Carlos Ruiz multiple years

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Colorado’s interest in free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz has been well-reported and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies are expected to make him a multi-year contract offer.

Renck writes that it’s unclear if the Rockies are willing to go beyond two years on a deal, but for a 35-year-old catcher coming off a season in which he was limited to just 92 games even a two-year deal is noteworthy.

Wilin Rosario has started 100 games at catcher for the Rockies in each of the past two seasons and his power has been impressive, but his defense has been shaky and apparently the Rockies think he can man other positions well enough. Shifting to first baseman as Todd Helton’s replacement makes the most obvious sense.

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.