Russell Wilson won the Super Bowl last night, so he has definitely earned a vacation. His vacation destination: Surprise, Arizona and Rangers training camp:
I guess whether this is truly a vacation for Wilson depends on what “appear” means. As a minor league Rule 5 draft pick of the Rangers, he has every right to suit up and compete for a job. He played second base in the Minors for two seasons in A-ball with Tri-City and Asheville, compiling a .710 OPS in 379 plate appearances.
Of course, he also gave it up then and didn’t play in 2012 or 2013 because, you know, the day job. Figure on a nice photo op in Rangers gear sometime later this month, however. Then he can take a real vacation.
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.