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Farnsworth to take over Mets' closing duties

NEW YORK -- They signed him to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, and then they released him. They re-signed him, and less than a month later, he's now their closer. Kyle Farnsworth has had an interesting road with the Mets this spring, and he's ready to work the ninth inning.

Farnsworth, a 14-year veteran of the big leagues, was tabbed as the Mets' closer on Sunday morning, replacing fellow veteran and fellow ex-Tiger Jose Valverde as the team's relief ace. Farnsworth has 54 career saves, and the 38-year-old said he's ready to contribute wherever the Mets need him.

"We're all a team here," said Farnsworth of his role change. "We all have the same goal: Try to go out there and win the best we can. I'm not going to change anything I've done, and neither should anybody else. We're in it together. We've got to contribute one way or another to help this team win."

Farnsworth has pitched in 866 big league games over his career, and he's been the final pitcher on the mound for his team in roughly a third of those games (279 times.) The right-hander saved a career-best 25 games for Tampa Bay in 2011, but he has just two saves in the last two seasons.

Still, Farnsworth said that it isn't really anything different to take his stuff to the ninth inning.

"I'm not going to approach it any way different than I've pitched my whole life," he said of closing. "I'm just going to go out there and compete to the best of my ability and go from there."

And as for the crazy trajectory his season has taken? Farnsworth was released by the Mets on March 23 and re-signed on the 26th, and he broke Spring Training with the club. Now, barely two weeks into the season, the reliever is suddenly set to work the most important innings.

"That's the way baseball is," said Farnsworth. "You've just got to be always grateful you've got a uniform on and take the opportunities that come along and run with them. Just keep on going."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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