Red Sox sign right-hander John Ely to minor league contract

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According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, the Red Sox announced yesterday that they have signed right-hander John Ely to a minor league contract. The deal also includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Ely missed the entire 2013 season while rehabbing from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and was given his release by the Astros in November. The 27-year-old posted a 5.70 ERA and 92/51 K/BB ratio over 115 1/3 innings with the Dodgers from 2010-2012 and will likely serve as starting pitcher depth in Triple-A if healthy.

The Red Sox also announced that they have re-signed right-hander Miguel Celestino and infielder Brandon Snyder to minor league deals.

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.