Mariners sign Joe Beimel to a minor league deal

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Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that the Mariners have signed reliever Joe Beimel to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Brown adds that scouts have said Beimel’s velocity is back after he had Tommy John surgery in May of 2012.

Beimel last pitched in the Majors in 2011 as a member of the Pirates. He posted a 5.33 ERA in 25 1/3 innings before being released at the end of August. Since then, he latched on with the Rangers, who released him at the end of spring training in 2012, and with the Braves in May last year. In 33 innings with Triple-A Gwinnett, Beimel posted a 4.36 ERA.

Beimel will turn 37 on April 19 but this is a no-risk signing by the Mariners.

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.