Rays re-sign Kyle Farnsworth to one-year contract

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Rays have re-signed right-handed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a one-year free agent contract. The deal will carry a base salary of about $1.5 million and will include another $1.5 million in performance-based bonuses.

It’s not a bad score for the 36-year-old, who had a weak 4.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 27 innings last season for the Rays while fighting elbow problems.

Farnsworth — if healthy — will function as a setup man this summer behind closer Fernando Rodney.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.