The new draftee survival guide. Rule number 2: don’t buy a Lambo.

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Dirk Hayhurst does what he does best today, and that’s to tell us how the vast majority of minor leaguers live. As in: on a shoestring, with a long, long road between where they are on draft day and when they get to the big leagues. If they get to the big leagues.

Today it’s the dos and don’ts for the new draftee. As in: don’t buy a fancy car with your signing bonus, don’t go around talking about your college days, make sure you get an agent and things like that. The agent bit is one a lot of people aren’t aware of. We all think of them as taking a cut of a big league contract, but most of the time these guys spend all of their time more or less playing nurse maid to minor leaguers. As Hayhurst explains:

Yes, they’ll take their cut if you sign a big contract, but most of the time they’ll be sending you new spikes, fresh bats, new sports underwear, and even a pair of trendy sunglasses if you can make a strong enough argument for why you need them. By the time they get their percent of you (if they get their percent of you) it will be like paying them back, not letting them suck you dry.

I once went to an evening college football game with a fairly well-known agent who has big time clients. He spent most of the second half of the game texting various minor leaguers in his stable, seeing how their games went, how they were doing that day, did they need any equipment, etc. etc. This wasn’t altruism — he’s hoping that if he takes care of these guys that they’ll stick with him if and when they sign that $75 million deal — but make no mistake, it’s work.

Anyway, this is a good piece from Hayhurst. And yes, it’s in slide show format, but don’t let that deter you. The explanations under each slide are lengthy and substantive so it’s not like it’s mere click bait. It’s quite interesting and informative, actually.

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.