Rays Sign Kyle Farnsworth

The Rays have officially signed Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year deal, according a team press release.  The agreement was first reported by Steve Slowinski of DRaysBay and confirmed by ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter links). The deal will pay the Barry Meister client $3.25MM in 2011 and could be worth $6MM over two years, since there's an option for 2012. 

Farnsworth posted a 3.34 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 64 2/3 innings for the Royals and Braves last year. The 34-year-old's 41% ground ball rate is unremarkable, but it's higher than it was earlier in his career, when he was more of a fly ball pitcher. Farnsworth doesn't throw quite as hard as he once did, but his average fastball was still 94.9 mph last year. That was enough to place Farnsworth at the top of MLBTR's list of the hardest throwing free agent relievers.

The Rays have added bullpen candidates Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, Joel Peralta, Chris Archer, Cory Wade, J.P. Howell and R.J. Swindle this offseason. That's a promising group of players, but Andrew Friedman's acquisitions are considerably less established than the collection of Rays relievers that hit free agency after the season. 

As MLBTR's Free Agent Tracker shows, former Rays relievers Rafael Soriano, Grant Balfour and Chad Qualls are among the remaining unsigned arms.

It's been a publicly quiet offseason for Farnsworth since the Braves declined his $5.25MM option for 2011 at the beginning of November.


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65 Comments on "Rays Sign Kyle Farnsworth"


4 years 6 months ago

hmmm… it seems the average to good relievers are making off far better than the elite this year

that draft pick compensation rule really screws good relievers over

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Wonder if that will be the case next year. A lot of GOOD closers could be hitting the market.

4 years 6 months ago

I believe it’s a combination of the draft picks having to be surrendered plus all the “elite” relievers like Soriano are looking for multi-year deals. With the Rays culture of developing propsects into major leaguers, it makes sense to take Farnsworth off the scrap heap,,,,plus, they’re only on the hook for one year. It’s low risk high reward for the Rays…if he pitches really well, they could flip him mid-season to a contender, and replenish their farm system, and if Farnsworth fails, they just release him.

pastlives
4 years 6 months ago

haha…

davidsonrva
4 years 6 months ago

LOL

4 years 6 months ago

As a Royals fan, I was actually happy with his 2010 production… but I was much happier when we flipped him for Tim Collins.

roberty
4 years 6 months ago

I wish the Braves didn’t trade Collins. =( He is so awesome.

Braves1976
4 years 6 months ago

Yea, the Royals clearly won that trade.

BTW, I wouldn’t want Farnsworth even on a minor league deal. He’s too much of a choker when it matters, IMO.

Braves1976
4 years 6 months ago

Yea, the Royals clearly won that trade.

BTW, I wouldn’t want Farnsworth even on a minor league deal. He’s too much of a choker when it matters, IMO.

TwinsVet
4 years 6 months ago

So who’s the front-runner to close for Tampa now?

kdawg89
4 years 6 months ago

Probably Jake McGee unless they sign someone else…

4 years 6 months ago

JP Howell most likely

kdawg89
4 years 6 months ago

If he’s healthy, he might close. Wouldn’t be surprised if Balfour comes back and closes, they may bring back Qualls too. Got a feeling Maddon’s gonna do a bullpen by committee unless they sign a true closer or someone really steps up..we’ll see.

4 years 6 months ago

JP Howell most likely

PookieGonzales
4 years 6 months ago

As as Royals/Redsox fan this makes me really, really, really happy. It’s time to watch him melt down for the other side now.

kdawg89
4 years 6 months ago

Wow…Guess the Rays can punch their ticket to the series now…. Can’t help but think they could have brought back Cormier for a lot less and got similar results.

popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
4 years 6 months ago

This signing caught me off gaurd, I hope they didn’t spend all their Garza money on Farnsworth. Tampa still needs a big bat!

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I think they still have another 3.5-4Mish to spend on a bat. Maybe they can nab Thome for 4M. If not give the Giambino a chance :P. 1M plus incentives. See what he gives you for a full season at DH.

popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
4 years 6 months ago

Maybe pull a Vladdy, out of the hat!

4 years 6 months ago

there’s no way the Rays can afford Vlad

Slopeboy
4 years 6 months ago

Wow… This signing shows me that you’re never too old to learn something. During the time he spent pitching for NY, I thought his first name was VILE!

Chuck345
4 years 6 months ago

I also learned that there is indeed no “less” at the end of his last name.

bigpat
4 years 6 months ago

Huh? 3M+ for Farnsworth? That strikes me as a very odd move. I guess he had a decent season last year but he’s so inconsistent, what’s the point in spending that kind of money on him? They could have just brought back Balfour or made a run at Soriano.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

They want to add more than one piece. Soriano was completely out of the question. It would have taken all the money they saved by moving Garza and be put into Soriano plus a little more. Balfour, sure he was an option but who knows what he’s looking for, maybe 3-4M a year.

Braves1976
4 years 6 months ago

Tampa Bay cannot afford to waste this kind of money on relievers like Farnsworth. I predict this signing comes back to bite them. Farnsworth won’t pitch well enough to make this signing worth it, IMO.

$1529282
4 years 6 months ago

The one nice side of this for the Rays, I suppose, is that if he produces well in 2011, they can have him back at a lower price in 2012, based on the way the option is set up. Since $3.25M is guaranteed already, they’ll save $500K on him in 2012 if he continues his resurgence.

Still, not a deal I particularly care for…

joeybw
4 years 6 months ago

Oh boy

2012 FTW!

rbeezy
4 years 6 months ago

Tampa’s Bullpen is looking thin. I always hear how the bullpen is going to be just as good as last year but how!? Look at these scrubs, Farnsworth will be giving bombs up all day at the Trop. Tampa is not going to be as good as all the experts say. Losing Crawford, Pena, Garza and basicly every good pitcher in the Pen will have an effect when Davis and Hellickson are on strict pitch counts. You can’t just waive a magic wand over has beens and make them all stars every year. They got luck with Beniot but it’ll be tough to happen again.

4 years 6 months ago

The only real loss is Crawford, and that might not be that bad if Desmond Jennings/Matt Joyce can produce this year. Pena was a .732 OPS player, and Bill James is predicting Dan Johnson to post a .840 OPS this year at 1B. So at worst, it’s a side-grade and at best its a huge upgrade. Garza’s position in the rotation is being filled in by the #1 prospect in all of baseball this year, and Garza was due for a regression this year. Although they will probably be on pitch counts, they have another top prospect Matt Moore waiting in the wings in the minors. If they REALLY need depth, Andy Sonnanstine could be stretched out and makes a viable 5th starter.

So really, the only weaknesses I see right now are No DH (which they have 3-4 mil to spend on one) and their bullpen. Bullpen performance is so difficult to predict though because of how volatile it is every year, especially when they include rookie Jake McGee and super-sleeper Adam Russell (Although I agree, Farnsworth was a bad signing)

If anything, I think you guys are underrating the Rays.

EDIT: I forgot to add that Brignac+rodriguez full-time > Bartlett full-time + platoon of Brignac/Rodriguez both offensively and defensively.

EDIT 2: I also forgot to add in any value that newly acquired Robinson Chirinos is going add to the equation if he gets playing time in the majors

Green_Monster
4 years 6 months ago

I think they paided him to much.

tiger313
4 years 6 months ago

I think they paided him too much also.

tiger313
4 years 6 months ago

I think they paided him too much also.

Chuck345
4 years 6 months ago

I wonder where their paided roll stands now.

Chuck345
4 years 6 months ago

I wonder where their paided roll stands now.

budman3
4 years 6 months ago

He’s as good as Balfour with more secondary pitches to get guys out. At 3 million this year he costs less than what Balfour was asking for and the Rays will still get to add another draft pick when he signs somewhere else. Solid move.

4 years 6 months ago

“He’s as good as Balfour”

No.

budman3
4 years 6 months ago

When Balfours favorite pitch, the fastball, loses some velocity, he will suffer more than he already has when guys caught up to it.

slider32
4 years 6 months ago

The window has closed for the Rays, but their starters are still going to keep them in games. Watch out for the O’s this year!

popular_mechanics_for_pitchers
4 years 6 months ago

I’d rather have Farnsworth than Gregg, especially considering the money. I like the move better than Gregg’s contract, I wouldn’t pay Fuentes to sling it in there, the money is problaly something comparable to the money Balfour would have got. I like it! Go AF! Now just find a couple bucks to sign a DH.

4 years 6 months ago

Not a very Rays-esq move.

Chuck345
4 years 6 months ago

Rays fans in the outfield seats be ready…there will be a lot of souvenirs coming your way during the late innings.

optionn
4 years 6 months ago

Say what you want about him- but the guy is a flamethrower. Blow you out with the fastball.

Chuck345
4 years 6 months ago

You’re right. The baseballs usually have a flame-tail on the end of them as they reach the seats.

Slopeboy
4 years 6 months ago

I say he brings a whole new meaning to fireman.

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

And people are complaining about the Cubs getting Garza. Love it how people rip Hendry. This move stinks. And so did the Werth and Crawford signings and the Cashman signing of Burnett in years past. So what have we learned….all GMs make bad moves. Hendry’s an average GM not a good one not horrible…just average.