Free Agent Stock Watch: Brian Fuentes

Brian Fuentes was in the right place at the right time in the 2008-09 offseason, coming off a 30 save season when several clubs were willing to spend big on closers.  He fell 20 games finished short of having his 2011 option vest, so the 35-year-old lefty is headed for free agency.  Let's assess his position.

The Pros

  • Fuentes dominated lefties this year: 11.57 K/9, 2.57 BB/9, no home runs in 14 innings.  Also in the small sample department: Fuentes was untouchable in 9.6 innings with the Twins.
  • Assuming Mariano Rivera doesn't field offers from multiple teams, Fuentes can make a case as the second-best free agent closer unless Bobby Jenks is non-tendered.
  • He's a Type B free agent who won't be offered arbitration anyway, so there's no draft pick cost.  Last time around, the Rockies snagged the Angels' #32 pick and chose Tim Wheeler while also taking Rex Brothers in the supplemental round.

The Cons

  • Fuentes is 35 and dealt with back pain this year.
  • He's prone to free passes, with a 3.8 BB/9 on the season.
  • He allowed just 5.8 hits per nine innings and a .227 BABIP, figures that he's highly unlikely to replicate.
  • Fuentes had the highest flyball rate in baseball (58.5%) among those with 40 innings pitched.
  • He's been ordinary against righties the past two years, according to his FanGraphs splits page.
  • Fuentes' price tag will come with the typical closer inflation.

The Verdict

Fuentes may come into the offseason seeking two years and a closer gig, but the supply of available stoppers outweighs the vacancies.  He may have to settle for one year and $4MM unless Beverly Hills Sports Council can create a bidding war.

10 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Brian Fuentes Leave a Reply

  1. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Rafael Soriano is the best free agent closer, then Rivera, then Fuentes.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      well if your reading comprehension was up to par. Its clearly suggested above that if Moe doesn’t take offers from other teams, then Fuentes is the second best reliever.. thanks for coming out.

      • roberty 5 years ago

        I agree with Woodworth, Soriano is much better than Fuentes. Just look at the stats. Soriano is also considerably better than Bobby Jenks.

  2. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Following Fuentes… not so clear. I guess you could rank Kerry Wood 4th, Kevin Gregg 5th, Chad Qualls 6th, Jon Rauch 7th, Frank Fransisco 8th, then Octavio Dotel. Hoffman is done, I believe.

  3. Out with J.C. Romero, in with Brian Fuentes. Dig it.

  4. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    I really like Fuentes in a set up role with either a closer who is injury prone or one who goes through some shaky periods. In other words, I see him fitting in well with the Phillies, the Rox, Braves, Reds, Tigers, Blue Jays, and Red Sox. This is assuming he isn’t insisting on being the closer. If he insists on closing, he’ll land on a noncontending team.

    Personally, I’d love to see him back with the Rox and strengthen their bullpen. Otherwise, I think he’s perfect to team with Madson and Lidge in Phillie.

  5. moonraker45 5 years ago

    lol okay professor. The difference is grammar can be fixed, stupid is forever.

  6. moonraker45 5 years ago

    ps what a friggen nerdy post. welcome to the internet sir, check yourself at the keyboard

    hahaha hey did you watch last nights episode of big bang theory?

  7. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Fransisco has had several bad years, Rauch isn’t a proven closer, though he did amazing in Nathans absence, and did you not see Dotels year?

  8. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    I don’t even know what that is. I only watch the Braves and The Daily Show. It’s what a civilized human being would type like. If you’re calling someone stupid on the internet, you can’t be having too much going on to not type halfway decent.

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