The Rays signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year contract with an option for 2012 earlier this month, but Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times has some interesting contract details.
Farnsworth receives a base salary of $2.6 million this season and either a $3.3 million option or $650,000 buyout for 2012. The interesting part is that in both years of the contract, Farnsworth could make an additional $300,000 in incentives based on games finished, so this is an early hint that the Rays signed him with the ninth inning in mind.
At the very least, he’ll be an insurance policy while prospect left-hander Jake McGee gets acclimated to the big leagues. The 24-year-old fireballer was lights out after moving to the bullpen with Triple-A Durham last season, posting a 0.59 ERA and 23/3 K/BB ratio over 15 1/3 innings before making his major league debut last September. The job should be his before long.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.