Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

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Baseball news is slowing down for Thanksgiving and for some reason this idea randomly popped into my head while on Twitter, so I figured I’d ask it here: How many MLB teams, if given the option, would say yes to being taken off the hook for all guaranteed contracts currently on their books?

In other words, all or nothing. Wipe the slate clean. Every player signed for guaranteed money is no longer on your team and you’re no longer responsible for their contract. You get to keep all players not signed to specific, non-minimum salaried contracts, which means pre-arbitration eligible players basically.

For instance, my beloved Twins would wipe six players off their books: Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Glen Perkins, Kurt Suzuki, and Mike Pelfrey. Hughes would hurt a lot, since he was great in 2014 and is reasonably priced, but Mauer, Nolasco, and Pelfrey would be easy calls to jettison. Overall the Twins would probably be better off with a clean slate.

Another example is the Yankees, who’d be wiping these players off their books: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young. Obviously some of those would hurt, but as a whole the Yankees would seemingly jump at that chance to wipe the slate clean.

Which other teams would do the same?

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.