Phil Coke is now with his third organization this season, as Chris Iott of MLive.com reports that the veteran left-hander has signed a minor league contract with the Athletics. He has been assigned to High-A Stockton.
Coke just opted for free agency this week after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays. The 32-year-old allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings over two appearances during his brief stint with Toronto. He had a 6.30 ERA over 16 appearances with the Cubs earlier this season.
Iott hears that Coke’s minor league deal includes an opt-out on July 10 if he isn’t called up to the majors.
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.