On Sunday, the Twins designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment to make room for newcomer Kendrys Morales on the roster. Kubel cleared waivers on Friday, and just rejected an assignment to Triple-A Rochester, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports. As a result, the Twins are expected to release Kubel.
Kubel, 32, slashed a disappointing .224/.313/.295 with one home run and 13 RBI in 176 plate appearances for the Twins. The club had signed him to a minor league deal in December and he earned a major league salary of $2 million after the Twins selected his contract at the end of March. The ten-year veteran should still draw some interest as he can serve as a left-handed bench bat.
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.