Fuentes Back Strain Could Save Angels $9 Million

Angels closer Brian Fuentes tweaked a back muscle picking up a dumbbell about a week ago, according to MLB.com's Lyle Spencer.  The freak injury could save the Angels $9MM in 2011.

Fuentes is eligible to return on April 21st.  Barring a rainout, the Angels will have 147 games left to play at that point.  Fuentes has finished one game this year, and needs 54 more to cause his '11 option to vest.  That's one GF out of every 2.72 Halos games.  Last year Fuentes finished one for every 2.84 Angels games, though Kevin Jepsen picked up a few GFs in September.  It will be tough for Fuentes to finish games at the pace necessary to reach 55 in 2010, now that he'll miss at least the Angels' next seven games.


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21 Comments on "Fuentes Back Strain Could Save Angels $9 Million"


Infield Fly
5 years 4 months ago

Well, at any rate it’ll also be tough for Fuentes to close games if the Angels don’t start putting it all together soon. I imagine that’s a more pressing concern at the moment. Come on Mikie, get those Halos in gear!!

5 years 4 months ago

Tough to win games when one of their best hitters keeps getting benched in favor of light-hitting Jeff Mathis.

Infield Fly
5 years 4 months ago

Exactly…but he’s not getting benched by himself!
“Come on Mikie….etc.”

5 years 4 months ago

I agree, he’s digging himself into his own, defensive-catcher-mode-only hole.

bjsguess
5 years 4 months ago

What an awful start to the season.

That said, there was no way Fuentes would have had his option vest unless he was absolutely lights out. We’ll see what happens now with Rodney taking the ball in the 9th. Something I’m less than excited about. Angels can’t win as is. Losing games in the 9th at this stage would be devastating.

5 years 4 months ago

That’s not true…he was far from lights out last season and he finished 57. Knocking 2-3 projecting GFs off his total though should be enough to prevent it from happening.

bjsguess
5 years 4 months ago

I actually think we are disagreeing about different things.

Sure – Fuentes could PHYSICALLY close enough games to get his option to vest. And that still could happen. I agree with you on that.

My point is that the Angels would not let that happen unless he was just flat out dominant. If Fuentes has another year like he did in 09, the team could easily hand off the closing duties (on occassion) to Jepsen, Shields or Rodney, all without raising the prospect of a complaint from the players union. Each of those guys could easily replicate Fuentes’ performance and each of those guys have at least some experience closing out games. That wasn’t the case last year when Shields was gone for the year, they didn’t have Rodney, and Jepsen was just starting out.

If the Angels let the option vest it will show a real lack of understanding by their front office. Not quite Magglio Ordonez stupid, but still stupid nonetheless.

alphabet_soup5
5 years 4 months ago

It was EXTREMELY stupid to let Magglio Ordonez’s option vest right? It’s not like he led the MLB in batting average the second half of last year, and throwing in that he’s off to a god-awful start this year, that was easily a horrible decision.

Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

yeah..thats what he’s saying! but sericously, maggz isn’t a bad player. but he isn’t worth 20million/yr. id give him 11million/yr to DH. at most.

alphabet_soup5
5 years 4 months ago

Nowadays he isn’t worth $20mil a year, but when they signed him in 05 they had to give him the possibility of earning that much 5 years later. He had a great 06-07-08, and was definitely worth the money then. I wonder how Matt Holliday and Jason Bay will produce in the later years of their contracts.

Yankees420
5 years 4 months ago

If Magglio has a good year and regains some of his previous power, he might get 6-7 million on a 1 yr. deal, even Fangraphs, which I believe overvalues players when they convert their WAR to how much money they should’ve made, says Magglio was only worth 8.5MM last season.

BK
5 years 4 months ago

Said best. If the Angels keep playing like they have, Fuentes arm might cramp up from under useage.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 4 months ago

this has got to be one of the most callous headlines to ever appear on MLBTR. sweet, that dude got hurt. that saves some money.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 4 months ago

if he straight-up dies do they still have to pay a buyout? that’d be great for the ledger.

5 years 4 months ago

No, if he collects at least 25 GF and dies in the process, his 2011 option is automatically guaranteed. Bummer, total bummer.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 4 months ago

i guess i’m just rooting for severe brain damage then. if he has no higher-level motor function (as determined by the attending physician), his list of teams he can veto trades to shrinks to three. that’ll free up money for some mid-season acquisitions.

5 years 4 months ago

I guess almost anything involving a vesting option is going to be seen as insensitive, then. I could see where you’re coming from if Fuentes’ injury was career-threatening or something. But vesting options hinge on stuff like this, and contractual stuff is this site’s bread and butter.

empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 4 months ago

“Fuentes Back Strain Could Save Angels $9 Million”

i guest just paring injury with savings seems a little tacky (only my opinion). “back strain could cost fuentes $9 million” at least pairs a negative with a negative. and an injury, never mind if it’s career/livelihood-threatening or not, is still a negative (also my opinion).

look, i know “contractual stuff” is what this site is all about (and it’s why i come here), but it seems odd to frame an injury to a player as a net positive. i guess if you look at players purely as commodities to be bought and sold, this is, technically, “savings,” but that strikes me as a little… whatever…

sorry. no disrespect.

bigpat
5 years 4 months ago

I just wish they would play Mike Napoli every now and then, it’s ruining my fantasy team. He is a great offensive catcher, his defense can’t be that bad for him to never play.

0vercast
5 years 4 months ago

There’s always Miguel Olivo…

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

What did I say this year? Yes the World Series Champion Catcher from 1988 will play Mathis 70 percent of the year.

Why? Because its 1988, EVERYDAY.