Remember Kevin Kouzmanoff? He hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, but the Rangers just announced that they’ve signed him to a minor-league contract.
Texas also did the same with utility infielders Josh Wilson and Brent Lillibridge, adding some bench options (or Triple-A depth).
Kouzmanoff put up some nice power numbers with the Padres early in his career–especially considering he was calling Petco Park home–but since 2009 he’s hit just .248 with a .692 OPS in 357 games as a big leaguer and he wasn’t even particularly good at Triple-A this year.
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.