Earlier this week the A’s purchased Triple-A left-hander Brad Mills from the Brewers for one dollar and tonight he’ll join Oakland’s rotation by starting against Boston in place of the injured Drew Pomeranz.
Mills’ minor-league contract basically allowed him to opt out if he wasn’t in the majors by now, but technically the Brewers had to offer him around for a buck and the A’s gladly snatched him up for $24,999 less than a standard waiver claim.
Mills is 29 years old with a 7.76 ERA in 53 innings as a big leaguer, but he pitched very well at Triple-A for the Brewers’ affiliate with a 1.56 ERA and 77/18 K/BB ratio in 75 innings.
And really, what else can you buy for a buck these days?
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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.