Tampa Bay Rays Rumors: Rays Sign Veteran Reliever Kyle Farnsworth

Daniel LewigCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 06:  Kyle Farnsworth #43 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the game on September 6, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pirates beat the Braves 3-1.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

As the Rays continue to bargain shop, it appears that Kyle Farnsworth is the latest find in the bin. 

Early reports indicate the Tampa Bay Rays have signed Farnsworth to a one-year,$2-3 million contract.  

Consider what the Rays have lost: (most likely) Rafael Soriano and Grant Balfour, along with Dan Wheeler (Red Sox), Randy Choate (Marlins) and Joaquin Benoit (Tigers).

Here's how the 2011 bullpen appears: Joel Peralta, Adam Russell, Kyle Farnsworth, Jake McGee, Cesar Ramos and Andy Sonnanstine.

Now, those names may not be impressive, but neither was Grant Balfour, Randy Choate and Dan Wheeler when they came to the Rays.  Soriano and Benoit had good years elsewhere, but neither put up the type of numbers they did last year with the Rays.

If Friedman can sign someone with closing experience such as Jon Rauch or Brian Fuentes, he will have effectively rebuilt an entire bullpen in one season. 

When the Rays entered this offseason, other GMs from around the league, such as Oakland's Billy Beane, felt Friedman's hardest challenge was rebuilding an entire bullpen from scratch.  If the Rays contend again this year, it will be Friedman's biggest accomplishment to date.

Considering the fact that he has not one, but two AL East Division titles in the last three years on his resume, that's saying a lot.