According to Buster Olney (ESPN), the Rays are willing to trade closer Kyle Farnsworth.
This should come as no surprise to Rays fans, as the Rays have fallen out of the playoff hunt in recent weeks and will likely be looking to sell at the deadline. The question is, though, should the Rays trade him? As I pointed out on DRaysBay recently, the Rays are in the driver’s seat with Farnsworth:
While the Rays’ bullpen has a 3.62 ERA, they haven’t been as impressive as you’d think; that ERA ranks as 18th best in the majors, and when you look at their performance from a defense-independent perspective, they’ve posted a 4.09 FIP – 7th worst in the majors. Farnsworth has been one of the lone consistent, effective relievers in the bullpen, so it’d seem like folly to trade him right now.
In the end, it depends on what other teams are offering. If someone overwhelms the Rays with a big package for Farnsworth, there’s little stopping them from trading him. But if they don’t get any packages they like, the Rays can hold onto Farnsworth and content themselves with having an effective, cheap closer for the next season and a half.
As a Rays fan, I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Rays end up holding onto Farnsworth. His option for next season is only for $3.3 million, meaning the Rays already have a cheap, effective closer locked up for 2012. And considering how horrible the rest of the Rays’ bullpen has been recently — Monday night’s late-inning loss to the Athletics is still fresh in my mind — that looks more and more attractive every day.
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