MLB Trade Rumors: Could Kyle Farnsworth Be A Match For the Rangers?

With the Rays now 9.5 games out of the AL East race after yesterday's victory, the Rays could turn out to be sellers in the coming week. Ray wrote about the trade rumors surrounding B.J. Upton last week, and there are still rumors surrounding whether or not starting pitcher James Shields is available, but the player who seems most likely to be traded could be Kyle Farnsworth. Buster Olney speculated that Farnsworth could be available from the Rays this morning, and he could be a nice fall back option for teams interested in Heath Bell or Mike Adams.

Farnsworth has been closing for the Rays this season, and is having a great season. In 40 2/3 innings pitched, he has recorded 19 saves, 32 strikeouts to 8 walks, a 1.99 ERA and 0.984 WHIP. He's shown that he can close out games for a good team at this point, and also has a relatively cheap $3.3M club option for 2012.

The Rangers appear to be in the market for a late-inning reliever, either a closer or a setup man behind Neftali Feliz. They have been rumored to be interested in Heath Bell, but may find the cost to be higher than they wish to pay.  The Padres seem like they would require at least two high-end prospects in return for Bell, so Farnsworth could be a bargain.

From the Rangers' side, the only players I would imagine are untouchable for Farnsworth would be SS Jurickson Profar and SP Martin Perez. Looking at John Sickels' Top 20 from the preseason, players who stand out to me as a potential matchup are 3B Mike Olt (.286/.395/.508, 10 HR, 34 RBI in High-A), or SP Robbie Erlin (59.2 IP, 57 K, 6 BB in AA), I think that the Rays would want a high-level prospect given that Farnsworth is such a bargain for this season and next as well.

Were Farnsworth to be traded, Joel Peralta and the newly called up Jake McGee could be in line for the save chances. I would be more inclined to put money on McGee than Peralta though, as they have been trying to develop him as a closer of the future.

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