In need of a veteran reliever for the late innings, the Mets rolled the dice on Kyle Farnsworth on Monday, signing the 37-year-old righthander to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Farnsworth endured a dip in velocity while posting a 4.70 ERA in 48 appearances for the Pirates and Rays last season, but he saved 25 games with the Rays in 2011. He also comes with minimal risk.
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Farnsworth will make $1 million if he wins a spot in the bullpen, according to CBSSports.com, with an additional $1.5 million possible through incentives.
A bounce-back performance by Farnsworth would help the Mets, who have coveted an experienced arm as insurance for closer Bobby Parnell, who is recovering from offseason neck surgery. Righthander Vic Black also could help fill the void, but he has only 18 major-league appearances, all coming last year with the Pirates and Mets.
If Farnsworth makes the club, the Mets will become his eighth big-league team in 16 seasons. It also would be his second stint in New York. He spent a turbulent 21/2 seasons with the Yankees from 2006 to 2008, when even a fastball that neared triple-digits failed to shield him from the ire of fans who grew frustrated by his unpredictability.
The Mets might not be done looking for bullpen help, either.
The club has not ruled out adding another bullpen arm, according to a source, though the source said the Mets likely won't sign Fernando Rodney, the best reliever remaining on the market.
The Mets have been linked to Rodney, 36, who saved 85 games for the Rays the last two seasons, since their failure to sign free-agent closer Grant Balfour. He opted for a two-year, $12-million deal with the Rays.