Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors reports that there are 6-8 teams with “varying degrees” of interest in free agent reliever Kyle Farnsworth. He’s said to be looking for a major league contract, but nothing is considered imminent.
Farnsworth, who turns 38 in April, had a 4.70 ERA in 48 appearances between the Rays and Pirates last season. While he rebounded a bit after joining Pittsburgh in September, even saving two games, he finished with his lowest strikeout rate (6.6 K/9) since the Cubs used him as a starting pitcher during his rookie season in 1999.
Links adds that fellow relievers Brandon Lyon and Pat Neshek are in a “similar position” as Farnsworth, as they also hope to land big league deals in free agency.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.