White Sox sign Jose Quintana to long-term extension

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It’s safe to say the White Sox aren’t that worried about Jose Quintana’s rough spring training.

Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the left-hander has agreed to a five-year, $26.5 million contract with the White Sox, which includes team options for 2019 and 2020. (Hayes notes that it will only be worth $21.5 million if he doesn’t qualify for “Super Two” arbitration status.)

Quintana is entering his third full season in the majors, so he was already under team control through 2018. Essentially this deal pre-pays for his arbitration seasons and, as a benefit of Chicago taking that risk, gives the White Sox the ability to buy out his first two years of free agency for $10.5 million and $11.5 million.

Signed by the White Sox in 2012 after leaving the Yankees as a minor-league free agent, Quintana has established himself as one of the best young southpaws in baseball with a 3.61 ERA and 245/98 K/BB ratio in 336 career innings through age 24. Last season he started 33 games and logged 200 innings, upping his strikeout rate and thriving despite being a fly-ball pitcher in a homer-inflating home ballpark.

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.