Kyle Farnsworth Rumors
WEDNESDAY, 11:00am: Farnsworth is believed to have a May opt-out clause, Rubin reports.
9:45am: It appears that this saga can finally be put to rest, as Farnsworth has officially re-signed with the Mets, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin (via Twitter).
TUESDAY, 10:46am: Agent Barry Meister tells MLBTR's Zach Links (via Twitter) that nothing has changed: Farnsworth is still "assessing his options" and has not re-signed with the Mets.
7:35am: Farnsworth's name is on the lineup card, so it appears that he has, in fact, re-signed with the Mets, tweets Adam Rubin of ESPN.com.
MONDAY, 9:40am: "Farnsworth has not returned to the Mets and is exploring his options," agent Barry Meister tells Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. "No agreement was or has been reached," adds the agent. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports says Farnsworth is looking for a Major League deal, and if he can't find one, he may go back to the Mets.
8:22am: Reliever Kyle Farnsworth will re-sign with the Mets this week, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. The deal will happen tomorrow, tweets Marc Carig of Newsday. The maneuver is seemingly a way of avoiding paying Farnsworth a $100K retention bonus, the deadline for which is tomorrow at 11am central time.
Farnsworth, 38 in April, posted a 4.70 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, and 45.5% groundball rate for the Rays and Pirates in 2013. He was up to 95 miles per hour on his fastball in a strong September showing for the Bucs, although his velocity was reportedly (and not unusually) back down this spring. The Mets initially inked Farnsworth to a minor league deal in February.
Two non-roster invitees do appear to make the Mets' Opening Day bullpen, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com on Saturday: Jose Valverde and John Lannan. Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, and Scott Rice will likely round out the seven-man crew.
3:20pm: Alderson confirms Farnsworth has been released, but could be re-signed in a couple of days, tweets Rubin. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo tweets the Mets tried to re-sign him today, but there may be interest from another club.
1:20pm: Rubin tweets a source tells him Farnsworth and the Mets are in talks presumably discussing a minor league deal with an in-season opt out.
11:47am: Kyle Farnsworth has decided to exercise the out clause in his contract with the Mets, agent Barry Meister told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The reliever was informed by GM Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco earlier today that he would not be on the Opening Day roster.
"The Mets gave him every opportunity and we are very appreciative of the way Sandy and John handled the situation," Meister said.
Farnsworth, 38 in April, spent last season with the Rays and Pirates, posting a combined 4.70 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. ERA estimators such as FIP (4.14), xFIP (3.73) and SIERA (3.64) all feel that Farnsworth was better than the 4.70 mark indicates. However, he also posted his lowest K/9 rate since his rookie season in 1999 and his 92.6 mpg average in fastball velocity was a career-low.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Reliever Kyle Farnsworth may not be long for the Mets organization, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York writes. He doesn't appear likely to make the team out of camp, and he has an opt-out clause he can activate tomorrow. Farnsworth is also an Article XX(B) player, which means that even if he were to decline his opt-out clause, the Mets would have to promise to add him to the roster, pay him a $100K retention bonus, or release him by Tuesday. Rubin mentions that the former flame-thrower's velocity has been off this spring, which means it may be tough for him to get a big-league job anywhere right now. Here are more notes from the National League.
- The Phillies would like to add a starting pitcher, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweets. There aren't many available, however, and the team doesn't have much money to spend. With Cole Hamels recovering from injury, the Phillies are a bit thin in starting pitching, although they don't need a fifth starter until April 14.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers, meanwhile, says he is not pursuing starting pitching, tweets MLB.com's Steve Gilbert. The Diamondbacks are short-handed after the loss of Patrick Corbin to injury.
FEBRUARY 16: Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets the breakdown of Farnsworth's incentives: $75K for making 40, 45, 50, and 55 appearances; $100K for making 60 and 65 appearances; $100K for 30 and 35 games finished; $250K for 40 and 45 games finished; and $300K for 50 games finished. Farnsworth can also ask for his release within 24 hours, if he is not on the Mets' 25-man roster on March 23, tweets Sherman.
4:08pm: The Mets announced (on Twitter) that they have signed right-hander Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. The veteran closer/setup man is a client of Meister Sports Management.
Farnsworth, who will turn 38 in April, spent last season with the Rays and Pirates, posting a combined 4.70 ERA with 6.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 45.5 percent ground-ball rate. ERA estimators such as FIP (4.14), xFIP (3.73) and SIERA (3.64) all feel that Farnsworth was better than the 4.70 mark indicates, but his lowest K/9 rate since his rookie season in 1999 and a career-low average fastball velocity (92.6 mph) likely were still cause for some concern among interested parties.
Since a surprising elite season as the Rays' closer in 2011, Farnsworth has a 4.41 ERA in 65 1/3 innings. A move to the National League could help his cause, though his 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings with the Pirates last season is too small a sample from which to draw any meaningful conclusion. The Mets have been said to be pursuing a low-cost veteran arm for their bullpen, and Farnsworth certainly fits the bill.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
The market for relievers will start to move in the next month or so as teams look to round out their bullpens with one-year deals. Some reporting on the topic today from MLBTR:
- Teams are planning to watch free agent righty Carlos Marmol, who is currently pitching for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League playoffs. Marmol has discussed a Major League deal with three teams, MLBTR has learned, and there's a good chance he signs this month. The 31-year-old posted a 4.41 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 7.3 BB/9, 1.29 HR/9, and 37.6% groundball rate in 49 innings for the Cubs and Dodgers in 2013. Marmol began 2013 as the Cubs' closer but was designated for assignment in June and eventually traded along with the club's fourth international bonus slot to the Dodgers for Matt Guerrier. He wound up making two appearances in the NLCS for the Dodgers after appearing in 21 games for them in the regular season.
- Though nothing is imminent for another former Cubs closer, Kyle Farnsworth, MLBTR's Zach Links hears six to eight clubs have varying degrees of interest. Farnsworth, 38 in April, posted a 4.70 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, and 45.5% groundball rate in 38 1/3 innings for the Rays and Pirates in 2013. Released by the Rays in August, he pitched well in his month with Pittsburgh. He averaged 95.5 miles per hour on his fastball in September, according to Brooks Baseball.
- Free agent relievers Brandon Lyon and Pat Neshek are also looking for big league deals, adds Links. They're joined by Luis Ayala, who we reported earlier today has drawn interest from the Tigers, Indians, and Orioles among other teams.
The Pirates announced, via press release, that they have signed right-hander Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Indianapolis. The 37-year-old Farnsworth was released by the Rays on Sunday after being designated for assignment.
Farnsworth posted a 5.76 ERA with 5.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 45 percent ground-ball rate in 29 2/3 innings for Tampa Bay this season -- his third year with the club. He served as the Rays' closer in 2011, saving 25 games with a 2.18 ERA over the course of 57 2/3 innings. He's lost some life on his fastball in the past two seasons but still averages a healthy 92.5 mph on the pitch. Farnsworth is represented by Meister Sports Management.
SUNDAY: The Rays have released Farnsworth, according to the team's transaction page.
FRIDAY: The Rays have designated right-hander Kyle Farnsworth for assignment, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). Josh Lueke will be recalled from Triple-A Durham to take his place on the roster.
Farnsworth, 37, served as the Rays' closer back in the 2011 season and posted a masterful 2.18 ERA with 25 saves, but it's been downhill since then. He posted a 4.00 ERA last season and has pitched to a 5.76 ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 29 2/3 innings this season. His fastball is averaging a career-worst 92.5 mph. Farnsworth signed a one-year, $1.25MM contract with the Rays back in February.
ESPN's Jayson Stark begins his latest column with a look at the Biogenesis situation. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported, suspension announcements are not expected today. Sherman expects the announcements to come Thursday or Friday. In Stark's opinion, the Rangers are acting like a team that knows what Nelson Cruz will do if suspended, in that their aggressive search for a bat suggests he might serve a suspension now to preserve his free agent value. Meanwhile, the Tigers' lack of pursuit of a backup plan to shortstop Jhonny Peralta suggests he'll appeal. Elsewhere in Stark's column:
- The Dodgers and Angels, who haven't made a trade in 20 years, had a "mostly casual conversation" regarding Halos second baseman Howie Kendrick. There are no indications a deal is in the works.
- The Angels are at least listening on infielders Kendrick, Erick Aybar, and Alberto Callaspo, and seeking high quality big league ready pitching in return.
- The Cubs could move Kevin Gregg and Nate Schierholtz, but are extremely unlikely to trade lefty reliever James Russell and there's just about zero chance of a Jeff Samardzija trade.
- Pitchers Ian Kennedy and J.J. Putz of the Diamondbacks and Kyle Farnsworth of the Rays "have suddenly been made available." Trading Kennedy would allow Arizona to clear around $1.4MM toward another move. Are they that hard up for cash?
The MLBPA announced that Dave Prouty has been promoted to the position of general counsel, replacing executive director Michael Weiner in that role. The 54-year-old Prouty becomes the fourth general counsel in the history of the MLBPA. “I am confident that Dave will excel in his new role and that the players will continue to receive the high level of legal representation they have come to expect from their union,” Weiner said. Here are some links from around MLB...
- While emphasizing that GM Brian Sabean decides which players to sign, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy won't rule out a return for Brian Wilson, writes Chris Haft of MLB.com. "I can't say that [Wilson] will be back." But, Bochy added, "I can't say the door's closed on Brian Wilson. ... I don't think that's completely shut."
- The Mets are still hopeful on Michael Bourn and General Manager Sandy Alderson talking about him publicly is a positive sign, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, nothing appears to be imminent between the club and the top remaining free agent left on the open market.
- In an appearance on ESPN Dallas’ the Ben & Skin Show, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said he hopes to stay in Texas long-term (story via Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com). However, the Scott Boras client said he’s prepared to “see what happens” when his contract expires following the 2014 season. “We’re still talking about it. That’s all I can say. For sure, I would love to stay here.”
- Dodgers GM Ned Colletti suggested on MLB Network that free agent third baseman Scott Rolen will "probably end up some other place than Los Angeles,"Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. The Dodgers had “some interest” in bringing Rolen on to provide depth at the corner infielder positions, Colletti acknowledged.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times has the details on the incentives included in the contracts for Kyle Farnsworth and Kelly Johnson. The Rays announced their deals with both players yesterday.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Rays announced that they have signed free agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year, Major League contract. Farnsworth will earn a base salary of $1.25MM with the chance to double his earnings through incentives.
Farnsworth posted a 4.00 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 55.1% ground ball rate in 27 innings for the Rays in 2012. The 36-year-old earned $3.3MM in 2012, up from $2.6MM in 2011. He was linked to the Brewers this offseason and had multiple offers as recently as last week. He ultimately narrowed his choices to the Rays and another unknown club. Meister Sports Management represents Farnsworth.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick first reported the agreement (Twitter links). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times all reported on the value of the deal (Twitter links).