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Pirates sign Kyle Farnsworth to minor-league deal

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USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have signed reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor-league deal. He'll head to Indianapolis.

Farnsworth was recently designated for assignment, and then released, by the Rays. A few years ago, he would have been a very Neal Huntington-style pitcher -- a frustrating reliever who threw hard and had control issues. His velocity has declined sharply over the years, though, from 96 MPH in 2009 to 92.5 MPH this year. Along the way, his control has improved, but he only struck out 5.8 batters per nine with the Rays this year. It's possible the Pirates will add Farnsworth to the roster in September, but he obviously doesn't belong in the Pirates' bullpen right now, and it's unlikely he'll be pitching important innings in any case.