Astros sign Mets castoff Kyle Farnsworth

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Released by the Mets earlier this week, veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth has found a new home with the Astros.

Farnsworth was pretty upset with the Mets at the time of the release and talked about wanting to “find a team where I can play against this one.”

Houston is in the AL, but the Astros’ final series of the season–September 26-28–is actually against the Mets, in New York. So Farnsworth would get a chance to pitch against the team that cut him loose, assuming he can find a way not to get released by the Astros before then.

Farnsworth actually pitched relatively well for the Mets with a 3.18 ERA in 17 innings, although his 10/6 K/BB ratio was unimpressive and his average fastball velocity was down to 92.0 miles per hour compared to his peak levels of 94-96 mph.

Chad Qualls was recently promoted to the full-time closer role by the Astros, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Farnsworth get some save chances at some point.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.