Kyle Farnsworth Rumors


Braves Acquire Ankiel, Farnsworth

The Braves have acquired Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals in exchange for Jesse Chavez, Gregor Blanco, and Tim Collins. Atlanta also received an unknown amount of cash in the deal.

Ankiel, 31, missed over two months with a quad strain this year, but will bring a much-needed .261/.317/.467 batting line to Atlanta's outfield. He is still owed just over $1MM for the remainder of the season, and there's a $6MM mutual option for his services next year that could instead be bought out for $500K.

The 34-year-old Farnsworth is back for a second stint with the Braves, and has pitched to a 2.42 ERA with 7.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 44.2 innings this year. He is owed $1.64MM through the end of the season, and Atlanta could buy out his $5.25MM option for next season for $500K. 

Chavez, 26, was acquired in the Rafael Soriano trade during the offseason. He had not performed as expected, with a 5.89 ERA and 7.1 K/9 in 36.2 innings this year. Blanco, 26, is a career .252/.361/.309 hitter in 633 big league plate appearances with experience in all three outfield spots. Both he and Chavez are under team control for another four seasons.

Collins, 20, was acquired in the Yunel Escobar-Alex Gonzalez trade earlier this month. He has struck out 15.4 Double-A batters per nine innings this year, and boasts a 2.35 ERA in his minor league career. 

CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler first reported the deal while Ed Price of AOL FanHouse added details (Twitter link). A Royals press release confirmed the deal.

Mike Axisa contributed to this post.



Red Sox Have Explored Trades For Many Relievers

FRIDAY, 1:03am: Theo Epstein has discussed multiple possible trades with former Red Sox assistant GM and current Padres GM Jed Hoyer, according to Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Globe duo believes Boston could have interest in a reliever like Joe Thatcher, and, given the team's excess of outfielders when Jacoby Ellsbury returns, they may match up with San Diego.

THURSDAY, 12:59pm: Though they're on his no-trade list, the Red Sox asked the Brewers about Trevor Hoffman, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX SportsRosenthal adds that the Brewers are not inclined to move Hoffman.  Meanwhile they're getting calls on Carlos Villanueva and Todd Coffey.

12:05pm: The Red Sox are leaving no rock unturned in their search for relief help.  They've explored Rafael Perez, Will Ohman, Mike Gonzalez, Matt Capps, Michael Wuertz, Craig Breslow, Sean Marshall, Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, and Kyle Farnsworth, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.  Cafardo says Scott Downs looks unlikely unless the Blue Jays back down from their top prospect requests.  On a related note, SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Jays asked the Mets for outfield prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis and one other player for Downs and were denied. 

Marshall is the interesting name here.  The 27-year-old lefty has had a dominant year in relief, posting a 1.71 ERA, 10.4 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 52.6 innings with one home run allowed.  He's been especially strong against lefties.  Marshall is under team control through 2012 and would presumably be very difficult to pry loose from the Cubs.  Gonzalez is another surprising name, since he's spent most of the season on the shelf with a shoulder injury and is still owed good money.

Cafardo adds that the Red Sox have been shopping reliever Ramon Ramirez, and offers the opinion that a National League team might want to take a look at him.  Ramirez has a 4.57 ERA, 6.5 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9 in 41.3 innings with six home runs allowed and is a potential non-tender candidate after the season.



Odds & Ends: Lowell, Barmes, Red Sox, Hanson

Links for Wednesday, as the Tigers get some infield depth from a division rival...

  • The Rangers haven't ruled out acquiring Mike Lowell, according to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com.
  • Agent Bean Stringfellow told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Blue Jays are not currently discussing an extension with Jose Bautista. It’s not at all surprising given how much else the Blue Jays have to sort out this week. Bautista said on the FAN 590 today that he would listen if the Blue Jays approached him with a multi-year deal after the season.
  • The Cardinals are not interested in Clint Barmes, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
  • Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier that the Red Sox will “look aggressively” for ways to improve at the trade deadline.
  • Tommy Hanson explained to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he chose the Boras Corp. because of the support the agency offers.
  • Brett Myers is untouchable, a source tells Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). With respect to Justice and his source, it seems unfathomable that a 41-59 team wouldn't listen to offers on a player who can walk at the end of the season.
  • Casey Fien cleared waivers and the Tigers outrighted him to Triple A, according to the team (via Twitter). Detroit designated Fien for assignment last weekend.
  • Like Fien, Scott Moore cleared waivers and headed to Triple A, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The O's designated Moore for assignment last week.
  • And another recent DFA, Justin Miller, was outrighted to Triple A Albuquerque, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (via Twitter).
  • The Blue Jays have considered Kelly Johnson, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Aaron Hill recently told the Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair that he would play third if the Jays asked him to, so Johnson could theoretically play second in Toronto. Seems like a longshot to me.
  • Kyle Farnsworth is available to manager Ned Yost (and GMs around the league) after leaving yesterday's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • Trevor Hoffman can veto deals to 25 MLB teams, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. The all-time saves leader and his $7.5MM salary would likely clear waivers, so interested teams will probably be able to pursue him in August.
  • One player told Morosi that he'd be "shocked" if the Brewers trade Prince Fielder this week.
  • Mike Axisa counts down the Yankees' top five trade chips at River Ave. Blues.
  • The Dodgers won't discuss prospect Dee Gordon with other teams, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter).



Royals Open To Making More Deals

Several clubs were ‘kicking the tires’ on Scott Podsednik this summer, but until 24 hours ago, the Dodgers weren’t one of them.

“Ned Colletti and I spoke for the first time last night,” Royals GM Dayton Moore told reporters this evening.

Just 24 hours later, the clubs finalized the deal that sent Podsednik to the Dodgers for minor leaguers Lucas May and Elisaul Pimentel. The negotiation process with the Dodgers was simple and Moore can imagine tinkering a little more before Saturday at 3pm CST.

“There may be a small deal or two that we could do going forward,” Moore said.

Some players - like Joakim Soria, Zack Greinke and Billy Butler - would be extremely difficult to pry away, but the Royals insist they’re “open-minded” about others.

“Guys in the final year of their contract, we’ll be more aggressive with potentially moving them,” Moore said.

Jose Guillen (who has drawn interest from the Giants), Bruce Chen and Willie Bloomquist are set to hit free agency after the 2010 season. The Royals have a $5.25MM option for Kyle Farnsworth in 2011, but he could attract interest before the deadline as well. The Royals lost a major trade chip last week when David DeJesus injured his thumb.



Odds & Ends: Reds, Royals, Geary, Rockies

Links for Tuesday, as Jose Bautista becomes the first major leaguer to reach the 30-homer plateau this season...

  • Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that trade talk has been "very quiet." The Reds aren't on the brink of making any deals (Twitter link).
  • Kyle Farnsworth left tonight's game with a hamstring cramp, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). It's not a strain, so he may be OK.  Farnsworth's health may be a moot point, as ESPN's Jayson Stark tweeted today that the Royals are getting little action on their trade candidates.
  • The Rangers released former Astro and Phillie Geoff Geary, according to the transactions page for the Pacific Coast League. Geary had been pitching at Triple A Oklahoma City, where he posted a 5.37 ERA.
  • Rockies owner Dick Monfort told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he would add payroll this summer if the circumstances are right. The team's approach to the deadline isn't yet clear.
  • Kelly Johnson is drawing more interest than other available D’Backs, according to Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona (via Twitter).
  • The Rangers signed second-rounder Cody Buckel for $590K according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter).
  • The Rockies have inquired about Cubs infielder Ryan Theriot, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (via Twitter). Troy Tulowitzki is ready to return to action, so the Rockies' need for infield help is no longer pressing.
  • The Padres aren't a fit for Scott Podsednik, a source tells Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter). NL West teams appear to covet the speedy left fielder.
  • Gil Meche needs shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star (via Twitter).
  • It wasn't so long ago that Meche and Jeff Francoeur were linked by the same rumors, but, as ESPN.com's Jayson Stark points out on Twitter, Jason Bay's mild concussion makes a Francoeur deal less seem likely.



Giants Discussing Guillen, Interested In Willingham

The San Francisco offense is heating up, but the Giants are still looking for outfield bats. The Royals are discussing Jose Guillen with San Francisco, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The potential deal would send the 34-year-old to San Francisco along with cash to cover some of the $4.5MM or so remaining on Guillen’s contract. 

But Jayson Stark of ESPN.com hears (via Twitter) from a rival official who believes the Royals have “no real options” to move Guillen, even if they ask for a modest return and take on salary. Stark’s source says (via Twitter) there’s very little action on some of Guillen’s teammates: Brian Bannister, Kyle Davies and Kyle Farnsworth.

Another one of Guillen’s teammates, Scott Podsednik, is drawing strong interest from NL West teams, including the Giants. For what it’s worth, the Giants have been scouting Guillen aggressively, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (via Twitter). For the season, Guillen has 16 homers and a .271/.333/.457 line.

The Giants are pursuing outfielders other than Guillen and Podsednik, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Like the Braves, Rays and Red Sox, the Giants have interest in Josh Willingham.



Mets And Royals Discussing Francoeur, Others

MONDAY, 3:09pm: A source tells ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Royals have "no interest" in Francoeur or Perez (Twitter link).

SUNDAY, 7:33pm: Talks between the Mets and Royals are fluid, though it doesn't appear that Guillen will be headed to Queens, says Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  It seems that if Guillen is dealt elsewhere, then Kansas City would be interested in Francoeur, Martino adds.

7:00pm: Francoeur and Perez are on the block, a source tells Jon Heyman of SI (via Twitter).  Another source tells Heyman that a trade with Kansas City "might happen" (Twitter link).

6:36pm: The Mets are in talks with the Royals and three names from each side are "in play," writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  Those Royals players are Gil Meche, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Guillen while the Mets being discussed are Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Jeff Francoeur.  It is unclear how advanced the talks are, cautions Rosenthal (via Twitter).

While the two sides aren't necessarily looking at a three-for-three swap, the two biggest contracts do match up well.  Meche and Perez's contracts are identical over the next two seasons, with both pitchers earning $12MM in this year and next.  The Mets made an attempt to swap the two just over a week ago.

Francoeur and Farnsworth also match up well, says Rosenthal.  Farnsworth's contract has a club option for 2011 for $5.25MM, though he has the right to void it in favor of a $500K buyout if he is traded before the 2010 World Series.  Francoeur will make $5MM this season before entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.



Odds & Ends: Washburn, A's, Myers, Mattingly

Links for Thursday, after somebody finally beat the Cardinals...



Kyle Farnsworth's Trade Value

Kyle Farnsworth isn't the same pitcher he was five years ago, though he may not be quite as effective as his numbers suggest. The 12-year MLB veteran has evolved into a more hittable pitcher - but not in a bad way. He has career-low walk and strikeout rates this year (2.4 BB/9 and 7.2 K/9) and when batters do put the ball in play, they're hitting more ground balls than fly balls (Farnsworth was a fly ball-strikeout pitcher earlier in his career). 

The high ground ball rate is helping Farnsworth keep the ball in the park (two homers allowed) but he is probably going to give up more long balls in the second half since he has an unsustainably-low 5% home run per fly ball rate. The right-hander is stranding more runners than usual and allowing fewer hits on balls in play than he normally does, so his 2.41 ERA has probably been helped by some good fortune.

But lucky or not, there aren't a ton of available relievers who induce ground balls, strike out three times as many batters as they walk and have 95 mph fastballs. Farnsworth has about $2MM plus bonuses remaining on his 2010 contract. If he's traded, the 34-year-old can choose to void his team's $5.25MM option for 2011 and collect a $500K buyout.

Kerry Wood, David Aardsma, Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel and Matt Capps are among the late-inning right-handers who could be traded this year. Some of those players (like Capps) would require better prospects than Farnsworth and others (like Wood) would require a bigger financial commitment, so the Royals should draw interest in Farnsworth this month.



Cafardo On Hart, Farnsworth, Dunn, Guillen

The Red Sox' ability to plug holes in their roster following a slew of injuries can be attributed in large part to Allard Baird, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. After discussing Baird's importance to the Sox and listing his All-Star picks, Cafardo shares a few hot stove items....

  • The Giants are "very interested" in Corey Hart, but with Milwaukee not entirely out of the NL Central race, the Brewers haven't yet elected to become sellers.
  • Although it's unclear whether or not Boston would have any interest in Kyle Farnsworth, Cafardo thinks he could be an option for the Sox. Farnsworth's strikeout rate is down to 6.8 K/9 this season, but a National League scout opines that the right-hander's stuff is as strong as ever.
  • Cafardo speculates that the White Sox would part with a promising prospect or two in exchange for Adam Dunn, and suggests that the Braves, Giants, and Rays could be fits for Jose Guillen.
  • After being told by a couple potential suitors that they needed to see him play, Wily Mo Pena is attempting to earn another shot at the bigs by playing in the Atlantic League.
  • A friend of D'Backs interim general manager Jerry DiPoto tells Cafardo that he thinks DiPoto may not have total freedom to make moves this month: "I get the feeling the major shots will be called above Jerry. If Jerry gets a chance, he’ll do some interesting things, but we’ll see whether he’ll have some reins on him."









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