UPDATE: Jeff Passan says a deal is done, pending a physical. No word on the cash, but figure between $7-9 million a year for two years.
8:48 AM: The Padres have a closer in Huston Street who saved 33 games last year and who will make $7 million this year. But who says you only have to have one closer?
Or, for that matter, who says Benoit is hell-bent on remaining a closer? It’s not like he’s had the job forever. He’s used to setup work. Also: if you’re the Padres, this could work out as a flip-a-closer-at-the-deadline situation.
At last report, Benoit was seeking roughly Huston Street money.
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.