Yesterday, the New York Mets signed veteran right-hander Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal with an invite to big league Spring Training, according to a press release from the organization.
Farnsworth, who will turn 38 in April, split last season between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He dazzled down the stretch for the Bucs, going 1-1 with a 1.04 ERA in nine appearances, posting a 9.3 SO/9 ration, a major step up from his disappointing 5.8 SO/9 with Tampa Bay in 2013.
He will add a veteran presence to the Mets’ bullpen, but appears unlikely to assume the closer’s role, if reports are to be believed. Fernando Rodney has been linked to the team, but him signing with New York appears unlikely at this point in time.
The right-hander is heading into his 15th big league season, and has put up some intriguing numbers during that stretch. His splits between pitching in the National League and the American League are head-scratchers, as his numbers across-the-board are better in the AL than the NL.
During his time in the National League, Farnsworth is 23-40 with a 4.60 earned run average in 524 2/3 innings pitched. His SO/BB ratio is also improved in the NL, coming in at 2.21 – as opposed to his 2.64 mark in the AL. In his time in the American League, Farnsworth is 20-23 with a 3.83 ERA in 425 1/3 innings.
He spent six years – the longest stint with any of the teams he’s played with – as a member of the Chicago Cubs, from 1999 to 2004. During that time, he went 22-37 with a 4.78 earned run average in 343 games – 26 of which were starts. He is, of course, most famous in the Windy City for his spearing of former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson early in his career.
Farnsworth has pitched for Chicago and seven other teams (counting the Mets) during his career – the Tigers, Braves, Yankees, Royals, Rays and Pirates.