Erstwhile Tiger Kyle Farnsworth elected to serve his five-game suspension today. The silly system of suspension appeals means that the player and team can basically elect when they sit out, and Farnie has a sore back, so he decided to take his league-mandated rest now.
Two tidbits from this report make the Farnsworth for Colon/Miner trade slightly rosier. First, Farnsworth's back. If it's keeping him out of the 'pen for a division-leading team trying to clinch a playoff berth and home-field advantage, how many innings could we expect him to pitch for a Tiger team that's starting to look like it's playing out the string? Second, Farnsworth's suspension was for five games (initially six), or something like 10% of the remaining games. Farnsworth's basically been replaced by Fernando Rodney in the Tiger bullpen. I'll grant that even 90% of the angry ex-Cub would probably be more valuable to the 2005 Tigers than a healthy Rodney. But what about 80%, a likely maximum given the suspension and the sore back? I think not. The two pitchers are preventing runs at comparable rates.
The most common objection to the trade, of course, is that the Tigers aren't going to keep Farnsworth for the long term. Their chances of signing him for 2006, however, aren't significantly worse today than they were a month ago.