Yankees, Cano “oceans apart”

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I’m taking the rest of the week off to take my kids to Disney World. There are downsides to this. For example, it means I have to go to Disney World, which really isn’t how I envisioned using the longest bit of vacation I’ve taken all year. But as Bernie said in “Miller’s Crossing,” well, you stick by your family.

The other downside? I was convinced that I was going to miss out on the biggest free agent signing of the year before I return to cover the Winter Meetings: Robinson Cano. From what we’re hearing today, however, that’s one thing I won’t have to worry much about:

 

Even if Cano’s $300M+ demand was a fantasy and he chopped, say, $75 million off of it, it’s still in A-Rod territory, and the Yankees can’t really be thinking of doing another A-Rod contract.

At this point it seems like Cano has to try to drum up interest from other bidders. Because there’s nothing out there to suggest that the Yankees are all that inclined to make a big move in his direction.

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.