Last month the A’s bought left-hander Brad Mills from the Brewers for the princely sum of one dollar. Then, after promoting him to the majors and giving him three starts the A’s designated him assignment. And now the Blue Jays have claimed Mills off waivers.
Mills actually began his career in Toronto. He was the Blue Jays’ fourth-round pick in 2007 out of the University of Arizona and debuted for them in 2007. He’s bounced around a ton since then, including spending time in five organizations since the beginning of last season.
Mills is a marginal big leaguer and at age 29 there’s no real upside to be had, but he held his own in three starts for Oakland and was really good at Triple-A for Milwaukee’s affiliate before being sold for a buck, posting a 1.56 ERA and 77/18 K/BB ratio in 75 innings.
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.