Arizona Diamondbacks sign lefty reliever T.J. McFarland

Mar 3, 2017, 8:25 AM
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher T.J. McFarland walks off the field after being relieved in the sev...
Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher T.J. McFarland walks off the field after being relieved in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Baltimore. McFarland allowed a grand slam in the seventh (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Arizona Diamondbacks continue to look for arms that can help their bullpen, which struggled mightily in 2016.

More than a week into spring training, the D-backs are bringing in another reliever with big league experience.

McFarland, 27, has pitched the last four seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, making 121 appearances — 119 of which came out of the bullpen.

In 2016, the former fourth-round pick of the Cleveland Indians went 2-2 with a 6.93 ERA in 16 games while striking out seven and walking 10. He also saw action at four different levels of Baltimore’s minor league system, pitching in 13 games and logging 34.2 innings.

In his career, McFarland is 12-7 with a 4.27 ERA, 125 strikeouts and 69 walks in 198.1 Major League innings. His best season was 2014, when he posted a 2.76 ERA in 58.2 innings out of the pen for an Orioles team that won the American League East with 96 wins.

McFarland was placed on release waivers by the Orioles on Feb. 25 after clearing outright waivers earlier in the month.

The Diamondbacks are continuing their strategy of bringing in veteran big league pitchers who are coming off down seasons to compete for bullpen spots. Even though their collective bullpen ERA was 4.94 last season, Arizona only has two relievers on their 40-man roster (Tyler Jones and Fernando Rodney) who weren’t with the club in 2016.

General manager Mike Hazen has already signed veterans Jorge De La Rosa, Kevin Jepsen, Brian Matusz and Tom Wilhelmsen to compete for relief roles this spring.

McFarland is the latest.

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