Kyle Farnsworth Rumors
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).
The latest from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links)...
- The Marlins and Rays are among the possibilities for Bobby Abreu, Heyman reports. Abreu, 38 in March, hopes to extend his career following an unremarkable offensive season in 2012.
- The Blue Jays are still in the bullpen market along with the Mets, Heyman reports. The Marlins, Astros and Dodgers might also be involved in pursuit of relievers, Heyman adds. Here are the details on the Mets’ bullpen targets.
- The Rays will likely officially announce their deals with Kyle Farnsworth, Luke Scott and Kelly Johnson next week, Heyman reports.
Interest in Farnsworth has intensified recently, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last week. The Meister Sports Management client had multiple offers at that time. Farnsworth, 36, 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. He earned $3.3MM in 2012, up from $2.6MM in 2011.
2:24pm: The Rays are "definitely in the mix" for Farnsworth, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports (on Twitter).
8:17am: Interest in free agent right-hander Kyle Farnsworth is intensifying following Rafael Soriano’s agreement with the Nationals, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Farnsworth has multiple offers and has narrowed his choices from six teams to three, according to Rosenthal.
Farnsworth, a client of Meister Sports Management, spent last year with the Rays. The 36-year-old posted a 4.00 ERA with 8.3 K/9, 4.7 BB/9 and a 55.1% ground ball rate in 27 innings. He earned $3.3MM in 2012, up from $2.6MM in 2011.
It’s been a quiet offseason for Farnsworth rumors, but he has been linked to the Rays and Brewers. The Rays, Tigers, Blue Jays, Mariners, Marlins and Mets are among the teams still seeking late-inning relief, according to Rosenthal. I recently examined the market for right-handed relievers.
The Rays are looking to add another reliever or two, Tampa Bay executive VP Andrew Friedman tells Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. The Rays have made a few bullpen moves already this winter, such as signing Roberto Hernandez as a free agent, exercising Fernando Rodney's 2013 option and re-signing Joel Peralta. If another reliever isn't added, internal options like Cesar Ramos or Brandon Gomes could play larger roles in the bullpen, plus the Rays could use whatever starting pitchers don't make the rotation.
A quick look at the list of remaining free agents reveals a number of solid right-handed relief options still available. As Smith points out, Friedman has been successful at acquiring relievers over the last several years, especially at finding unheralded arms who deliver big returns for Tampa.
Rodney and Peralta might not be the only Rays relievers bought back next season, as both J.P. Howell and Kyle Farnsworth are "still in the mix to return," writes Smith. Howell, the top southpaw reliever left on the market, has at least five other suitors. Farnworth has been targeted by the Brewers this winter, though Milwaukee may have completed its bullpen remodeling after agreeing to sign Mike Gonzalez.
MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the R.A. Dickey trade, the Josh Hamilton signing, the Anibal Sanchez deal and the latest rumors on todays’ edition of the Rosters & Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in, and continue reading for the latest from around the league...
- The Mets are closing in on adding an outfielder, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma's source tells him that the player hasn't previously been linked to the Mets (Twitter links). Puma doesn't specify if the acquisition would come via free agency or trade. New York has previously been linked to Cody Ross, which seems to rule him out.
- Sanchez's agent, Gene Mato, told Anthony Fetch of the Detroit Free Press that Sanchez left a larger offer from an unnamed team on the table at the Winter Meetings. The right-hander didn't want to make his decision based solely on money but also on where he felt comfortable.
- Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM that his team is interested in Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Kyle Farnsworth and Mike Gonzalez (Twitter link).
- Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets that the Marlins aren't particularly interested in Peter Bourjos because they'd prefer a better hitting outfielder. Earlier today it was reported that the Fish may be interested in Bourjos.
- Some teams aren't convinced that Hiroyuki Nakajima's glove is good enough to play shortstop at the Major League level, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN. The Japanese slugger signed with the Athletics earlier today.
- Former Cubs coach Pat Listach has been hired by the Dodgers as the team's new minor league infield coordinator, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).