Phillies sign Grady Sizemore

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Released by the Red Sox last week, outfielder Grady Sizemore has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Phillies.

Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Sizemore will be assigned to Triple-A, where he hasn’t played regularly since 2004 as a 21-year-old top prospect for the Indians.

Sizemore’s comeback with the Red Sox got off to a great start, but then he went through a two-month stretch hitting .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS in 43 games.

He hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2009, so the odds of Sizemore making a positive impact in Philadelphia aren’t very high, but it’s possible he could represent an alternative to the struggling Domonic Brown at some point or simply take on a part-time role.

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.