Kyle Farnsworth’s contract includes incentives for games finished

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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.

The Hall of Fame rejected the BBWAA vote to make ballots public

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Last year, at the Winter Meetings, the BBWAA voted overwhelmingly to make Hall of Fame ballots public beginning with this year’s election. Their as a long-demanded one, and it served to make a process that has often frustrated fans — and many voters — more transparent.

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted a few minutes ago, however, that at some point since last December, the Hall of Fame rejected the BBWAA’s vote. Writer may continue to release their own ballots, but their votes will not automatically be made public.

I don’t know what the rationale could possibly be for the Hall of Fame. If I had to guess, I’d say that the less-active BBWAA voters who either voted against that change or who weren’t present for it because they don’t go to the Winter Meetings complained about it. It’s likewise possible that the Hall simply doesn’t want anyone talking about the votes and voters so as not to take attention away from the honorees and the institution, but that train left the station years ago. If the Hall doesn’t want people talking about votes and voters, they’d have to change the whole thing to some star chamber kind of process in which the voters themselves aren’t even known and no one discusses it publicly until after the results are released.

Oh well. There’s a lot the Hall of Fame does that doesn’t make a ton of sense. Add this to the list.