Tampa Bay Rays: Does Jesse Crain Trade Mean the End for Kyle Farnsworth?

Jamal WilburgCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 01:  Jesse Crain #26 of the Chicago White Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on May 1, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Kyle Farnsworth’s days in a Tampa Bay Rays uniform may be numbered.

The team acquired right-handed relief pitcher Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for players to be named later or cash considerations. Crain is on the Rays' 40-man roster but is currently on the 15-day disabled list due to a shoulder injury.

When Crain was placed on the disabled list, he had the best ERA among American League relief pitchers and was second with 19 holds. In his past 32 appearances, he has only allowed one earned run. He was named to the 2013 AL All-Star team.

The team will need to make room in the bullpen for Crain when he is able to return from injury. This is where Farnsworth starts to look like the proverbial odd man out in this situation.

Farnsworth was the Rays closer in 2011, appearing in 63 games. Since then, he has only appeared in 69 games for the Rays. He currently has a 5.14 ERA in 28 innings in 2013. In the month of July, he has only appeared in six games for a total of 8.1 innings pitched.

The addition of Crain to Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney in the bullpen would further render Farnsworth’s services unnecessary for the Rays in the closing innings.

According to Jayson Stark from ESPN.com, the Rays have made Farnsworth available for trade. Stark wrote, "Three pitchers who have suddenly been made available who hadn't been talked about much: Arizona's Ian Kennedy and J.J. Putz and Tampa Bay's Kyle Farnsworth."

With the trade deadline looming, it will be interesting to see if the Rays are able to find a trading partner for Farnsworth.