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D-backs decline options on Flores, McFarland

Club also outrights Almonte, Scott to Triple-A Reno
@SteveGilbertMLB
October 31, 2019

PHOENIX -- The D-backs declined the club contract options on infielder Wilmer Flores and left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland on Thursday and also outrighted outfielder Abraham Almonte and lefty Robby Scott to Triple-A Reno. All four players were removed from the 40-man roster and are now free agents. Flores, who hit

PHOENIX -- The D-backs declined the club contract options on infielder Wilmer Flores and left-handed reliever T.J. McFarland on Thursday and also outrighted outfielder Abraham Almonte and lefty Robby Scott to Triple-A Reno.

All four players were removed from the 40-man roster and are now free agents.

Flores, who hit .317/.361/.487 for Arizona in 2019, was signed as a free agent last offseason. He made $3.75 million this past season and will receive a $500,000 buyout instead of having his $6 million option exercised for 2020.

Flores played second base, but when he was signed, it was also thought that he could see significant time at first base.

However, the emergence of Christian Walker as well as the possibility of Jake Lamb returning next year and prospect Kevin Cron also in the mix, Flores didn’t figure to get much playing time there in 2020. And second base may not be open depending on whether the D-backs decide to play Ketel Marte more there or in center.

“If we had exercised [the option] right now, we would have pinned our position player group in a very hard direction, which ultimately may be the direction we go, but we didn’t feel like this was the day to make that decision,” GM Mike Hazen said.

McFarland, who had pitched for the D-backs since 2017, appeared in 51 games in 2019 and had a 4.82 ERA. He made $1.4 million this year and will receive a $50,000 buyout instead of having his $1.85 million option exercised for 2020.

McFarland was used often for multiple innings during his time in Arizona and with a surplus of starters at the moment, the D-backs could look to fill that multi-inning bullpen role with pitchers who don’t end up in the rotation.

“We think that we have some young guys, in combination [with] guys we’re going to bring in from the outside, and [McFarland’s] spot was one we felt like we needed to at least explore freeing up going into the offseason,” Hazen said.

In other news, the club announced that Cron had the medial meniscus in his right knee trimmed Oct. 15 by team physician Gary Waslewski. Cron is expected to be fully recovered in time for Spring Training.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.