The Milwaukee Brewers may have one more trick up their sleeve and Kyle Farnsworth may prove to be it.
With trying to avoid what happened last season, namely the implosions from the bullpen, the addition of a veteran arm certainly isn’t a bad idea. Farnsworth, who will be 37 in April, has recently announced that he is between two teams at the moment, one being the Tampa Bay Rays, and the other so far is unnamed. However, that unnamed team could very well be the Brewers as Farnsworth was on Doug Melvin’s radar not too long ago. Could Farnsworth be a successful addition to this newly crafted Brewer bullpen?
For Milwaukee, pitching can be the name of the game if they play their cards right. The additions of Burke Badenhop, Tom Gorzelanny and Mike Gonzalez already vastly improve the blemishes from last year and potentially adding Farnsworth to that list could really put the Brewers on the right track.
Now, is Farnsworth necessarily the “end-all, be-all” of relievers? No, but his vast experience in the major leagues helps add that veteran presence to a new bullpen. The Rays are also in a fight to bring him back to their team, but the Brewers’ have remained dead set on picking up some talent this off-season.
For his career, Farnsworth is a 4.24 ERA pitcher with a 40-62 record. Now obviously that’s a bit rocky for a reliever, but take for instance his 2011 where he had an ERA of 2.18 and 25 saves. Pretty impressive, no? He has a career 52 saves which really isn’t that huge a deal considering he’s more middle relief than anything and obviously John Axford isn’t giving up his job. Farnsworth saw an increase in his K/9 (7.96 in 2011, 8.33 in 2012) in the past few seasons alongside a lower HR/9 (0.78 in 2011, 0.33 in 2012), so despite his being up there in age, his command is still rather precise.
Farnsworth isn’t going to be the most accurate and perfect reliever out there, that’s just reality. He’s going to give up hits, runs and inherit runners just like any other guy. However, if we take into account a 4.00 ERA, Farnsworth has had eight seasons with an ERA of that or lower. More recently since 2010, he’s had a combined ERA of 3.21 throughout the three seasons (2010-2012), which is pretty efficient work when you see he pitched for three different teams in that time span.
Now there’s the money to talk about. Well, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much of a problem as Farnsworth made $3.3 million last year and $2.6 million the year before. If the Brewers are able to ink him for a one-year deal, I’d say it’d be anywhere in the $3-5 million range, which really, isn’t all that bad for one season.
As it stands, the Rays are still rather aggressive about bringing him back as he’s spent the last two years there. That unnamed team could very well be the Brewers as they’ve been the second team linked with him since at least December. Farnsworth may not be the perfect guy for the bullpen, but he’s certainly an upgrade from what we had last season.