Farnsworth tells Braves he's joining Yanks

Updated: December 1, 2005, 10:07 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- While there was no announcement from New York, the representative for free agent relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth informed Atlanta Braves officials Wednesday night that his client will sign with the Yankees, two sources told ESPN.com.

Relief Pitcher
Atlanta Braves

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
72 1 1 27 87 2.19

"That is accurate, that's what we were told," Braves general manager John Schuerholz told The Associated Press. "We received a call yesterday and, cut and dried, that's what was said. That's all I'll say about it."

In making the move to the Yankees, Farnsworth, who played at Milton High School in Atlanta, rejected the Braves' offer to remain as their closer, the role in which he finished the 2005 season. Instead, he will serve as setup man to Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera, and replace Tom Gordon in that role.

The Yankees have been attempting to retain Gordon as their primary setup reliever, but he is seeking an opportunity to be a closer elsewhere. Aware they could not offer Gordon the closer's job, the Yankees resigned themselves in recent days to losing him and began to explore alternatives, with Farnsworth at the top of their wish list.

Contract details on the deal Farnsworth will sign with the Yankees were not available. The Braves had offered him a three-year contract. Atlanta can still gain a first-round pick as compensation for Farnsworth if the Braves offer him arbitration by Dec. 7 or New York signs him before that date.

Farnsworth earned $1.975 million in 2005 and it was rumored in recent days that the Yankees were set to offer him a deal worth at least $4 million annually.

A seven-year major league veteran, Farnsworth, 29, has spent most of his career with the Chicago Cubs, who selected him in the 47th round of the 1994 draft. He pitched for the Cubs 1999-2004, and with Detroit for the first part of 2005 before Atlanta acquired him from the Tigers in a July 31 trade.

In 26 relief appearances with the Braves, he had no decisions, but provided stability in the closer's role, saving 10 games and posting an ERA of 1.98 in 27 1/3 innings. In his stints with the Tigers and Braves last season, Farnsworth appeared in 72 games, had 16 saves and an ERA of 2.19.

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