Kyle Farnsworth had been slated to begin the season at Triple-A after signing a minor-league deal with the Mets, but Bobby Parnell’s elbow injury opened up a spot in the bullpen.
Jose Valverde is expected to take over as the Mets’ closer, but they’ve recalled Farnsworth from the minors to fill a setup role. And if/when Valverde struggles it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Farnsworth get a crack in the ninth inning just based on his veteran-ness and previous closing experience for the Rays (brief as it was).
Farnsworth is 38 years old and threw just 38 innings for the Rays and Pirates last season, posting a 4.70 ERA and 28/10 K/BB ratio.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.