Brewers, Matt Garza agree on a four-year, $50 million deal

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On Thursday, we learned that the Brewers had signed free agent starter Matt Garza to a four-year, $52 million contract. However, the deal was never finalized and talks hit a standstill. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier that the hold-up was related to certain language included in the contract.

Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio says the two sides have a deal “in place”. Garza’s contract is for $50 million over four years and includes $4 million in incentives and a fifth-year vesting option worth $13 million, per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. So, potentially five years and $67 million. The deal is pending MLB and MLBPA approval.

Outfielder Ryan Braun and starter Yovani Gallardo, two Brewer stalwarts, were asked about the Garza deal, recently. Both were quite receptive to the addition.

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.