As we discussed previously, Kerry Wood is the odds on favorite to be the Red Sox new name reliever come August. The Olde Towne Team’s lack of upper-level prospects performing well and/or a desire not to part with these assets gives the Red Sox only a financial advantage over most other teams. Since Cleveland may not find many clubs willing to adsorb Wood’s large salary for the rest of 2010, Red Sox would seem to be one of the front runners for the hard-throwing relievers services. But another possibility could emerge in Kansas City.
Per usual the Royals are going nowhere in 2010. Their trading deadline focus will be on moving players that are unlikely to contribute to the next competitive KC club. Even with a better farm system than in the past, the Royals are probably not going to be contenders in 2011. Productive players with reasonable but short-term contracts like David DeJesus and Kyle Farnsworth should be on the move come July 31, 2010.
The Red Sox could certainly find playing time for DeJesus, but eventually (fingers and toes crossed) the outfielders will be healthy limiting the impact of the acquisition. The same can not said about Farnsworth. The Sox need him now and when we will have sweatshirts on at Fenway.
Farnsworth can be the third late inning reliever. He is no longer just a straight flame thrower after training to be a starter this spring. Farnsworth worked on his two-seam fastball and change up, according to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star.
“Isn’t it fun to watch?” pitching coach Bob McClure said. “He looks like a pitcher out there, doesn’t he? It’s been so consistent. It starts with his ability, and now he has more ways to get guys out now.”
Farnsworth is a pitcher now; not a thrower.
Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Farnsworth has a reasonable contract. Many teams can fit his terms in their budget.
Farnsworth is on the books for $4.5 million in 2010 or costing a club about $1.5 million for his services in August, September and October, if necessary. The reliever will also have a player option at $5.25 million for 2011, if traded, with a buyout of $500,000, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.
Yawkey Way can gain an advantage over teams with weaker balance sheets by taking on Gil Meche or Jose Guillen in the trade. Meche is coming back from surgery and making $12 million in both 2010 and 2011 with a limited no-trade clause. Meche’s situation is complex, but Guillen, who is having a productive season in a contract year, is making $12 million. The Red Sox could assume the $4 million owed to DH/outfielder as part of a trade for Farnsworth. And could tip the scales to in favor of the Olde Towne Team.