Diamondbacks call up former elite prospect Andy Marte

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Once upon a time Andy Marte was one of the best prospects in baseball. He cracked Baseball America’s top 15 list in 2004, 2005, and 2006. He got traded for Edgar Renteria and then later for Coco Crisp. And then he just never hit, batting .218 in 302 games for the Braves and Indians.

But wait, his story may not be over quite yet. Marte is now 30 years old and has spent this season playing at Triple-A for the Diamondbacks, who just called him up to the majors for his first big-league action since 2010.

Marte was having a great season at Triple-A, hitting .330 with 13 homers and an .898 OPS in 102 games. Pacific Coast League numbers are always hitter-friendly and it’d be silly to expect a ton from Marte at this point in his career, but it’d be nice to see him put together a useful stretch in Arizona.

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.