Rangers join Yankees as suitors for Farnsworth

NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers emerged Thursday as the chief
competitor for the New York Yankees in their bid to sign reliever
Kyle Farnsworth.

The Yankees think they are the leading contender to sign
Farnsworth, who likely will command $17 million to $19 million over
three years.

It appeared Farnsworth was waiting for fellow reliever Tom Gordon to sign, in the hopes that Gordon's contract would escalate prices. On Thursday night, ESPN's Jayson Start reported Gordon had agreed to a three-year, $18 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Braves general manager John Schuerholz said a Farnsworth
representative called him Wednesday night and said the right-hander
would not return to Atlanta and would sign with the Yankees.

"That is accurate, that's what we were told," Schuerholz said
Thursday, confirming remarks he made a day earlier to The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution. "We received a call yesterday and, cut and
dried, that's what was said. That's all I'll say about it."

But the Rangers were told Thursday that they remain in
contention, a baseball official said, speaking on condition of
anonymity because the negotiations were ongoing.

"We've got multiple free agent offers out there that we're
hoping to have answers on sooner than later, but I'm not certain
that those will come to a head by the end of [next] week," Rangers
general manager Jon Daniels said, without mentioning specific

On Wednesday, two sources told ESPN.com that representatives for Farnsworth had informed Braves officials that he will sign with the Yankees.

Farnsworth's agent, Barry Meister, declined to comment on
Schuerholz's remarks.

The Yankees were trying to re-sign Gordon as a setup
man for Mariano Rivera, while Cleveland and Philadelphia are
interested in having Gordon return to his former role as a closer.

New York, whose setup men frequently struggled last season,
wanted to sign both Gordon and Farnsworth.

The Yankees held a lengthy internal conference call, with team
president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman in New
York and Florida-based officials participating from Tampa. The
Florida group was believed to have included owner George
Steinbrenner along with top aides Mark Newman, Billy Connors, Damon
Oppenheimer and Bill Emslie.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.