Veteran right-hander Kyle Farnsworth went from Mets closer to a man hellbent on beating his now former team in a matter of minutes on Wednesday night.
According to Danny Knobler of ESPN New York, Farnsworth was officially outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas immediately following the Mets 4-0 loss to the New York Yankees despite sporting a solid 3.18 ERA and serving as the team's closer for the majority of the season. In fact, Farnsworth nailed down the Mets' victory in the Subway Series opener on Monday — his third save of the season.
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."
Those comments came before he vacated Citi Field.
It's certainly easy to understand his frustration. He may not be closer material on most teams, but he's done well enough to hold his roster spot, especially in the Mets' thin bullpen. More than anything else, the timing of it all seems very strange, but Knobler's colleague Adam Rubin adds that the reasoning is pretty simple.
Farnsworth was released in spring training to avoid a $100,000 payout on his minor-league deal. The Mets then re-signed him to another minor-league deal, which included the 45-day team option that came up on Wednesday night. It's the same type of deal Randy Wolf originally turned down with the Seattle Mariners in spring training, but signed with the Miami Marlins earlier on Wednesday.
Long story short, the Mets signed Farnsworth to a team-friendly deal to plug a hole in their bullpen, and then sacrificed a usable and productive arm because they didn't want to guarantee his salary for the entire season. It's a cost-cutting move, and it's a move that's well within their rights based on the agreement signed.
But obviously some fans (and players) will roll their eyes at the team sacrificing a decent arm to save a little money.
Speaking of eyes, everybody's eyes will now turn to where Farnsworth ends up next. There will be no shortage of opportunities based on his experience and success this season, so odds are the Mets will see him again and possibly very soon.
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