8:22pm: MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweets that McFarland will earn $1.4MM in 2019, and his 2020 option is valued at $1.85MM with a $50K buyout (thus comprising the $1.45MM guarantee).
7:59pm: The D-backs announced Wednesday night that they’ve avoided arbitration with left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland. The southpaw’s one-year contract also includes a club option for the 2020 season. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets that the two sides settled at a $1.45MM salary for the upcoming season.
McFarland, an Octagon client, enjoyed a career year with the Diamondbacks this past season, pitching to a flat 2.00 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.50 HR/9 and a whopping 67.9 percent ground-ball rate in 72 innings out of the bullpen. The former Orioles hurler was particularly lethal against left-handed opponents, who managed a downright pitiful .163/.182/.206 slash against McFarland in 100 plate appearances. After earning a modest $850K salary in 2018, McFarland and his reps filed for nearly double that sum in arbitration, countering Arizona’s $1.275MM figure with a $1.675MM submission.
[Related: MLBTR 2019 Arbitration Tracker]
The club option on McFarland’s deal will cover what would be his final season of arbitration, meaning the two sides have most likely avoided a hearing not only this offseason but next offseason as well. Technically speaking, the D-backs could decline the option and retain McFarland as an arb-eligible player for his final season of control. However, it’s likelier that if McFarland pitches well, they’ll simply exercise his option or, if he performs poorly, that the Diamondbacks would move on entirely.