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2014 Mets Season Review: Kyle Farnsworth

Veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth provided adequate, albeit unimpressive innings for the early 2014 Mets bullpen. His performance was not, however, sufficiently impressive to avoid his release after just 19 games in an effort to avoid paying him a full-year salary.

Rob Foldy

Coming into the 2014 season, the Mets' bullpen had very few members with any appreciable experience with the exception of Bobby Parnell, who was coming off of neck surgery. To bolster the bullpen and add an element of reliability to the otherwise untested pen, Sandy Alderson signed veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. Alongside the deal, the Mets also secured a secondary agreement with Farnsworth that allowed them to opt to pay him for only the first 45 days of the season if he was cut before that time. This clause ultimately decided Farnsworth's fate as much as his pitching did.

Farnsworth came into 2014 looking to rebuild value after a 2013 season that saw him post an abysmal 4.70 ERA in relief with the Rays and Pirates. His ERA seemed to be largely elevated by an abnormal HR/FB ratio (13.9%), and his xFIP for the year (3.73), along with a 2.8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, actually suggested he should have been much more effective than his ERA or FIP (4.14) indicated, making him a reasonable bounce-back candidate in 2014.

Farnsworth's spring training certainly didn't give Mets fans a lot of hope that he would provide a stabilizing influence for a bullpen that had been decidedly shaky in 2013. In ten innings of spring training work, Farnsworth struck out six, walked four, and gave up two home runs en route to an uninspiring 5.4 ERA. However, given the lack of other veteran options with closing experience, Farnsworth still made the team.

He joined the major league squad as the Mets closer in the first week of the season after it was revealed Bobby Parnell would need Tommy John surgery. As a closer, Farnsworth notched three saves in four opportunities. Overall, in 19 regular season appearances, Farnsworth seemed somewhat effective on the surface, posting a 3.19 ERA. A slightly deeper look shows that Farnsworth was likely outperforming his peripherals, as he was walking 3.2 batters per nine innings while only striking out 5.3, good for a poor 4.54 FIP.

As the 45th day of the season neared, the Mets decided that his performance did not warrant paying Farnsworth for a full season of his services, and he was dumped, replaced by Josh Edgin. Farnsworth opted to become a free agent, thus ending his tenure with the Mets. Upon his release, he definitely harbored some ill-will towards his former team, expressing a desire to pitch against the Mets in the future, and describing himself as "bitter" about his treatment. Farnsworth was picked up soon after by the Astros but never faced the Mets, so his vengeance is currently still pending.

Desired 2015 Role: Seeking vengeance against the Mets, and attempting to rebuild his value after another ineffective season of relief pitching.

Expected 2015 Role: Signed to a minor league contract somewhere other than New York in hopes of finding his way onto a major league roster in desperate need of a veteran arm.