The Athletics announced that they have claimed lefty T.J. McFarland off of waivers from the Diamondbacks. It appears the Arizona organization outrighted him from the 40-man after declining a club option.
It’s a bit of an unusual situation. McFarland’s 2019 arbitration agreement included an option value for 2020. The $1.85MM price was deemed too steep. But McFarland remained eligible for arbitration.
Now, the A’s will have a decision to make. McFarland actually projects to earn more than the option value, with MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz pegging his arb value at $2.1MM. That’s all subject to negotiation, of course. The Oakland org might seek to work out a deal at its price tag and move on if that can’t be accomplished.
McFarland was in many respects much the same pitcher as he was in a successful 2018 season, with the 30-year-old producing loads of groundballs and minimal strikeouts. But he allowed more hard contact and more home runs. The A’s obviously they believe McFarland can benefit from some positive regression and/or tweaks to his approach.