The Mets want “true New Yorkers” to sign an open letter of support

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Big picture? This New York Mets “True New Yorker” thing is just outreach, marketing, fan service and the like. It’s a different spin than we’ve seen before, but it’s basically just “Nattitude” or “Red Sox Nation” or any other number of fan slogans/campaigns we’ve seen in the past.

Small, petty, fun picture? The suggestion that “True New Yorkers” are Mets fans is probably gonna make Yankees fans really mad. And I’m sure that, at least in some way, that was fully intended.

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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.