One of the great debates of the modern baseball era is that of the "closer mentality." Some believe that it's something undefinable that exists only in certain people, like the ability to hit in the clutch, or a willingness to eat mayonnaise on purpose. Some think that there are guys who are well-suited for the eighth inning, but who would be complete debacles as closers.
If there is a short, quick rebuttal to the "closer mentality" theory, then, it would be two words:
Well, that's more than two words, but I wanted to include the picture.
Kyle Farnsworth is a successful closer for the Tampa Bay Rays. Kyle Farnsworth was a frustrating middle reliever over the past few seasons for the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, and the New York Yankees, someone who was as likely to discover an ability to speak fluent Navajo as he was to discover a "closer's mentality."
And yet: Kyle Farnsworth is having an awesome year as a closer. It's strange to type that.
According to Buster Olney, the Rays are willing to trade him, which should surprise no one. Sell high, Rays. Sell high. But for teams looking for relief help, Farnsworth will be a heckuva lot cheaper (in terms of prospects) than Heath Bell or Mike Adams would be. It's probably unlikely for the Rays to expect a huge proven-closer bounty for Farnsworth because, well, he's Kyle Farnsworth, bullpen drifter.
But he's always had the size and raw stuff. Maybe if he has a regular, defined role, he could be the perfect bullpen option for a team that doesn't want to pay too much. Just maybe ...