Twins sign Matt Guerrier

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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.

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.