Rafael Furcal has been on the disabled list all season with hamstring and groin injuries, but the veteran infielder is off the shelf and ready to make his Marlins debut.
Furcal signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Marlins to serve as their starting second baseman after missing all of last season, but couldn’t make it out of spring training healthy. In his absence Derek Dietrich has been Miami’s primary second baseman, but he was demoted back to the minors last week to work on his poor defense.
Furcal hasn’t posted an OPS above .700 since 2010 and hasn’t been healthy and productive since 2009, so the odds of him making a big impact at age 36 seem pretty slim.
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.