But, wait! There’s more! For the terms of the deal also include a team option for 2020, which would have been T.J. McFarland’s third year of arbitration-eligibility. We don’t yet have details of the cost involved. I would presume, however, that the addition of cost-certainty for the team next year, probably means the settlement for this year is closer to the figure of $1.675 million which the pitcher wanted, than the $1.275 million offered by the team when they filed a couple of weeks ago. On the other hand, there could be additional guaranteed cash for T.J. in the form of a buyout of the 2020 option. We’ll find out in due course, I’m sure.
Expect a Jack spreadsheet update over the weekend. Because that now closes the book for 2019 in terms of salary negotiations for the Diamondbacks. McFarland was the only one not to have agreed to a deal before the filing deadline. While previously, this might have meant the team cutting negotiations and going through the arbitration process, that clearly wasn’t the case here. It’s probably for the best, as an arbitration hearing can end up damaging the relationship between the player and the team. After all, he has to sit there and listen to the team explaining why he isn’t worth as much money as he thinks. That’s not a performance review I’d wish on anyone.
T.J. was certainly one of the more valuable members of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen last year, working long relief and dialing up ground balls at a Ziegler-esque rate. Let’s just hope that the one we get for the next one (or two) seasons is similar in quality, and reliever volatility does not make him regress to the rather less effective results we saw from him in his first season with the Diamondbacks.