Matt Guerrier, who spent 2004-2010 in Minnesota’s bullpen, has returned to the Twins on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Guerrier was one of the most underrated setup men in baseball during his first go-around with the Twins, which earned him a three-year, $12 million deal from the Dodgers as a free agent. In three seasons since then he posted a 4.02 ERA in 123 innings while missing time with multiple injuries.
Minnesota’s bullpen is pretty well-stocked, particularly among right-handers, so the 35-year-old Guerrier has an uphill battle to win a spot even if manager Ron Gardenhire favors him for all the old memories.
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.