When Kyle Farnsworth made his major league debut, I was in high school. I graduated high school 15 years ago. The Cubs lineup during his debut included Mark Grace batting third, Sammy Sosa batting cleanup, and featured a Mickey Morandini appearance for the Cubs. I was surprised enough that Farnsworth was still playing in the major leagues this season, and even more surprised that he was pitching well. But yet, the New York Mets released Farnsworth anyway after outrighting him off of the major league roster. Now some are questioning whether or not he might help the Phillies bullpen.
Farnsworth mostly pitched well; as the Mets closer he is 0-3 with three saves and a 3.18 ERA. But for the Mets, the issue may have been dollars and cents, not productivity:
The Mets' bullpen has been a weakness, but Farnsworth has been one of the better pitchers in their pen. The team is going more toward a youth movement, as Rafael Montero andJacob deGrom have been called up to start, and Jenrry Mejia move from the rotation to the pen.
The 45-day waiver period is expires late this week related to his advance-consent, so the Mets may have saved a bit of money by releasing Farnsworth. He was to make $1 million this year, so the savings will be up to $750,000, though the roster spot will be used by someone else now.
So, it begs the question: should the Phillies take a chance on Farnsworth?
The Phillies might be a team that the now-free agent Farnsworth would consider. Over on Big League Stew, Mark Townsend reported that Farnsworth is unhappy and eager to stick it to the Mets:
Technically, Farnsworth was not released, but he does reserve the right to refuse the assignment and elect free agency. At this point, it's safe to assume that's the route Farnsworth will take, because he was none too pleased about the developments as they played out on Wednesday. He didn't bother hiding his anger or expressing what he intends to do next.
"Hopefully find a team to play against this team," Farnsworth said. "I'm very bitter right now."
The Phillies have 15 games left against the Mets. He would have plenty of opportunity to play against the Mets, should Farnsworth join the Phillies as a setup man to Jonathan Papelbon.
For our pal Matt Lombardo over on NJ.com, it's a matter of simple numbers:
YOU'VE SEEN THE BULLPEN, RIGHT? These guys have a 4.68 ERA, good for 27th in baseball. After jettisoning B.J. Rosenberg and Shawn Camp earlier this season, finding the right mix has been difficult for Sandberg and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. There is little downside to bringing in a veteran to help steady the situation rather than to continue to shuttle young relievers between Philadelphia and Allentown.
With Jeff Manship and Luis Garcia on the major league roster, it would not be hard to find room ont he major league roster for Farnsworth.
Will the Phillies sign Farnsworth? I suppose it's possible. When signing A.J. Burnett was an option that made sense, the Phillies did it. The Phillies may have competition for Farnsworth's services, however. Farnsworth could sign with a team with a better chance of contending for the playoffs. In this very division the Braves have Jordan Walden and Johnny Venters on the disabled list, and had to grab Alex Wood for their starting rotation for help.
Farnsworth perhaps could have saved the Sunday game against the Mets when Papelbon was unavailable, and help stabilize the seventh and eighth inning. While Mike Adams has pitched pretty well (not extremely, but mostly well), the Phillies need an option when Adams is not able to pitch. Farnsworth could be it. He would not be a bullpen savior, but a helpful piece, such as Jose Mesa was for the Phillies in 2007. Mesa wasn't stellar, but enough to keep the Phillies in the National League East race and into the playoffs.
Farnsworth has pitched for eight major league teams, including multiple stints with the Detroit Tigers and Atlanta Braves. Lifetime he is 43-66 with 57 saves and a 3.18 ERA.