Athletics Pushing To Sign Brian Fuentes

Despite agreeing to sign Grant Balfour, the Athletics still aren't done trying to upgrade their bullpen. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says that Oakland is "pushing" to sign Brian Fuentes, and he reiterates that the Blue Jays are a serious suitor for his services as well.

A multitude of teams have expressed interest in the free agent lefty this offseason, and with Balfour and Rafael Soriano now off the board, Fuentes has emerged as arguably the best free agent reliever available. Oakland already has two effective left-handers in its bullpen (Craig Breslow and Jerry Blevins), but there's no such thing as too many quality relievers.

We've also seen young, cost-controlled relievers traded quite a bit this offseason, including in deals for J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds, Jason Bartlett, and Cameron Maybin. Oakland could turn around and deal Blevins, Joey Devine, or Brad Ziegler for help at another position now or before the deadline. The market is certainly there, and adding Fuentes would help maintain the team's relief depth.


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51 Comments on "Athletics Pushing To Sign Brian Fuentes"


rathman53
4 years 7 months ago

I really dont want Fuentes but he would be an upgrade over Blevins, but much more expensive. Save the money Billy. We are already stocked.

corey23
4 years 7 months ago

I used to love when Fuentes would come out of the pen for the Angels. I have never been a big fan of him and although quality relievers are good to have around, I just don’t think Fuentes is that good.

4 years 7 months ago

I agree, let Toronto sign him. Fuentes has been quoted as saying he wants to be a closer again. With Breslow and Balfour, there’s no room for him on the Athletics, except as a LOOGY–he’s way to expensive to face one batter every two games

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

We can’t assume that Blevins will be healthy, though. He recently had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. Plus Bailey just had his elbow “cleaned up”, and it sounded like Wuertz barely avoided surgery on his thumb (he also had a lot of shoulder problems last year). Devine is obviously a concern, as well. As are Harden, Outman and McCarthy, who are bullpen possibilities.

The bullpen is already very good, but there are far too many question marks to go getting complacent. If they have the money to add quality depth, I say let ’em go for it!

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

Signing Balfour and the interest in Fuentes says to me that the A’s have a trade for another offensive upgrade in the works.

Think about it: When has Billy EVER spent significant money on the bullpen? I’m drawing a blank…

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

You’re not wrong in your thesis. They’ve never spent this much money on free agent relievers before. But when have they ever had $30 million+ to spend in one offseason before?

This just seems to me like a result of Eric Chavez finally coming off the books. They’ve been trying to reallocate that money all winter. First they went after Iwakuma and Berkman, then Beltre, and now Balfour and Fuentes.

4 years 7 months ago

As long as he’s not closing (which he won’t be), I’m ok with it. He would be a 7th inning/match-up guy and I am sure this signing would pave the way for a trade to acquire offense. I’m all for it.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I seriously doubt this means a trade is imminent unless it’s a very minor one. As much as I’d love to see them improve the offense even further, I don’t see how they could possibly do it unless a stud 3B is suddenly made available.

I’m just glad they were able to get creative with the outfield without gutting what they just spent 3 years rebuilding!

4 years 7 months ago

You know the market has dried up when Brian Fuentes is the best available anything.

Dick Armada
4 years 7 months ago

Yep, offseason is through, let’s start this thing already.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 7 months ago

I thought the A’s bullpen was already good.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 7 months ago

It is and they are just making it better. I really like their pen…

Ziggy, Breslow, Balfour, Bailey, Wuertz, Fuentes, Blevins is a pretty nice pen…

optionn
4 years 7 months ago

I know he is older and has a weird delivery, but Fuentes produces. This guy has had a ton of saves the last few years- I would sign him in a heartbeat.

Ferrariman
4 years 7 months ago

yeah but he isn’t gonna be the closer. Probably primary set up/LOOGY guy.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

Saves = Talent?

4 years 7 months ago

good addition to any bullpen, but at 6 Mil a year? thats steep. then again, The Grinch did give Billy some money to play with this winter and a lot of that was slated for Beltre. if we could flip Blevins or Zig for another bat then OK.

jpkinney7
4 years 7 months ago

No way he gets 6M/Year. Balfour just got approx. 4.2/year (including buyout). Fuentes might have to settle for 1 guaranteed year + Club Option for about 3.25M. Then the A’s can trade one or two of Balfour, Fuentes, Wuertz, Breslow, Zeigler, Devine, Blevins in June/July for a needed piece to help them catch Texas in Aug/Sept.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Balfour probably had fewer suitors than Fuentes though, “thanks” to his Type A status. So right or wrong, Fuentes seems more likely to get his asking price than Balfour ever did.

You’re right about the trade deadline thing, though. If they can just stay healthy this year, they should certainly have the trade chips to add another bat at the deadline. And this year it can be a better one than Conor Jackson (who was the best they could get last year without gutting the farm).

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

+Beltre AND Iwakuma. Also, Billy has money to spend every year he just shys away from FAs and prefers to bring up internal options. Remember Scutaro, Beltre and Chapman last year?

Instead of the big name, long term FA sign, Beane added DeJesus, Willingham, Matsui, Balfour, Harden & McCarthy. The A’s still have money to spend.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Aren’t you contradicting yourself a little bit? You say that Beane shies away from free agents, yet you named 4 that he’s courted in the last 14 months.

It’s more accurate to say that free agents shy away from Oakland. Adrian Beltre (twice), Lance Berkman, Jamey Carroll, Marco Scutaro and Rafael Furcal have all shunned them the past three offseasons. And in the cases of at least 3 of them (Berkman, Beltre in 2010, and Scutaro) they signed elsewhere for a lot less guaranteed money.

And those are just the ones we know about for sure.

nocalraiderfan
4 years 7 months ago

The Balfour signing was nice, but I’ll pass on Fuentes. If Beane is stockpiling relievers, could he be thinking about putting together a package that includes Andrew Bailey for another hitter?

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

It’s always possible. And I’d be all for it if it was the right player. But who? I don’t see any more ways that they can upgrade. The outfield is set. Barton isn’t going anywhere, and even if he does, it should mean that Carter gets the starting 1B job. And there just aren’t any 3Bs who might be available that would be an upgrade over Kouzmanoff.

4 years 7 months ago

I think Billy is up to something like making a run at a trade for 3B or another big time bat with all the surplus pitching we have and young prospects I don’t see why wouldn’t be able to acquire someone and we also need to clear some room on the 40 man roster as well

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

The only 3B who might be available and is an upgrade over Kouzmanoff is David Wright.

4 years 7 months ago

LOL, anyone who thinks David Wright is actually available is incredibly mistaken.

Threat_Level_RedSox
4 years 7 months ago

Seems like the usual Billy Bean Sign them then trade them at the deadline for who ever is willing to over Pay.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

If they’re doing any of this with the intention of flipping someone at the trade deadline, it will be to get someone who can help with the 2011 playoff run. It won’t be for prospects, like I’m sure you’re thinking. They haven’t been in sell mode for over a year and a half now.

It’s not 2008 or 2009 anymore. Or even 2010. The rebuild is over.

optionn
4 years 7 months ago

The A’s will never be any good because they solely rely on young, unproven players who are cheap and under team control.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah like David DeJesus, Coco Crisp, Josh Willingham, and Hideki Matsui! They gotta stop letting these young unproven guys who’ve never had a taste of the show crawl out of their minor league system.

This just in: the A’s already are good.

andhicks
4 years 7 months ago

They are really good.

co-sign.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Have you followed anything Billy Beane has done this offseason? DeJesus? Willingham? Matsui? Balfour? Harden?

not_brooks
4 years 7 months ago

Right, because they were never any good when they relied on young players and made the playoffs in five out of seven seasons from 2000 – 2006.

4 years 7 months ago

Any clue what the 40 man roster would look like if Fuentes signs?

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

They still haven’t announced who is getting cut to make room for Balfour. I assume adding Fuentes means a trade is on the way…..or knowing the A’s Bailey is out of the year and they aren’t announcing it yet and this move is to cover that.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Assuming they don’t do any trading, my guess would be that Pedro Figueroa and Clay Mortensen get DFA’d.

PennMariner
4 years 7 months ago

Signing Fuentes appears a bit excessive, especially when considering his expected asking price. Their pen already looks pretty damn good to me.

Pete
4 years 7 months ago

If Fuentes wants to be the highest profile LOOGY in the game, I’m all for it.

If this has something to do with Bailey leaving, I’m disappointed.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know if they’ll be the ones who get Fuentes, or not. But either way, the A’s are FAR from done this winter. After this plays out, I look for them to possibly add one more pitcher, plus sign a couple guys to minor league deals, plus do some more trading. Nothing major. Just something to add infield depth and free up space on the 40-man roster, I would guess.

slider32
4 years 7 months ago

The A’s pitching is good at this point. It looks like they want to have a lock down pen like the Giants had in the series or like the Rays had during the season last year. You know the old saying, you can never have enough pitching. With their additions in the winter, they should be able to score more runs this year. I think their a sleeper to win the West now that Lee is gone. They have the best pitching in the West, and pitching wins!

okbluejays
4 years 7 months ago

From a Jays fan perspective i’d rather have Rauch at less money. Fuentes fills a need because Toronto probably does need another Lefty reliever, but I feel Rauch is probably better overall at this point and he can face both righties and lefties without much of a difference. Rauch will certainly get less money, and perhaps even less term depending on if someone wnats to give Fuentes 3 years (or if Rauch would take 1 year, which would be ideal)

duddy_17
4 years 7 months ago

Get ’em both, AA. Sign them now!

duddy_17
4 years 7 months ago

Rauch, Fuentes, Dotel, Camp, Jansen, Purcey, Frasor… Competition for 5th starter includes Villeneuava… and tones of depth waiting in the wings in Vegas..

slider32
4 years 7 months ago

What have the Jays been doing! You snooze you lose! This team should be moved if their attendance doesn’t improve. Last year their attendance was horrible; the A’s too!

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

It might be my bias against former Angels showing through, but I’m kinda with you on Jon Rauch. I’m not sure if my A’s have any interest in him, but I think I would rather have Rauch than Fuentes if I had my druthers.

I can’t say I’ll have hurt feelings either way, though. Fuentes is a quality lefty with a ton of closer experience, so it’s hard for me to dislike the idea of having him around. And if they don’t get him, that might push them toward Rauch or back toward Duchscherer (who I think someone will be getting one of the steals of the offseason on).

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I’d rather see the Jays grab Fuentes but if the A’s get there before the Jays, good for them. The A’s have had a great offseason. Is the A’s organization ready to open their wallets to keep people around?

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

They should have quite a bit of money to spend again next winter. The problem is getting people to take it. Most players hate playing in Oakland, no matter how much they might like the team itself. And beyond that, Willingham, Crisp and DeJesus could potentially be some of the better free agents next year. So I seriously doubt any of them will consider signing a mid-season extension after seeing how much money was thrown around this current offseason.

I’m sure they’ll keep their pitching intact, for the most part. And Kurt Suzuki. And they’ll be able to keep Barton, Pennington, Kouzmanoff, Sweeney, Rosales and Powell if they want them (Ellis and Jackson too, probably). And they should have several more prospects develop by 2012, namely Carter, Taylor and hopefully Green. But they have their work cut out for them, as far as convincing people to sign long-term contracts (even if they’re the highest bidder, as Scutaro, Beltre and Berkman have recently made clear).

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

But for now, all that matters is they’re trying which is one step in the right direction. Players without no trade clauses can’t block trades so the additions of Willingham and DeJesus were great. Nice to see the A’s working hard on building an even better team to go with the young talent.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah. They’ve had a really good offseason. Especially when you consider the roadblocks that were in their way. I just hope they can be as creative again next year without having to gut what they’ve worked so hard to rebuild. As long as Carter and either Green or Taylor pan out they should be alright, though. Two of those guys to go with that pitching staff should be enough to work around.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I’d rather see the Jays grab Fuentes but if the A’s get there before the Jays, good for them. The A’s have had a great offseason. Is the A’s organization ready to open their wallets to keep people around?

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

Crap. This was supposed to be a reply to someone…

510akland
4 years 7 months ago

The A’s have money. There is no guarantee that everybody in their bullpen will stay healthy when throughout most of their careers they have not. if they happen to sign Fuentes i think a trade might be in order. Maybe for a 3rd baseman like David Wright because the Mets new GM Alderson is friends with Beane, and they could work out a deal