In order to fill the hole in the bullpen left by Francisco Rodriguez, the Angels have signed Brian Fuentes to a 2 year deal worth 17.5 million. There is also a vesting option for a third year. This looks like a nice deal for both sides.
The Angels didn’t necessarily need to address their bullpen, but signing Fuentes can’t hurt. They get him at a reasonable price, too. Nine million per year for only 2 years seems like a steal. Compare him to Francisco Cordero. Their numbers seem very close in their walk years, yet Cordero scored big with 4 years, 46 million. If the Angels can get the production that Fuentes provided last year, it will be a ginormus steal, especially when you consider how much Cordero received. Fuentes can come in a make the bullpen one of the best in the MLB, just like it was last year. It can’t get much better than Fuentes closing with Jose Arredondo and Scott Shields setting him up. Darren Oliver is one of the better lefty relievers, on top of all that. This has the makings to be a fantastic ‘pen. (obviously it was better with K-Rod last year, but it’s still great)
I also like this deal for Fuentes. It stinks that he gets stuck with 2 years, but he couldn’t have done much better elsewhere. He gets the 3 things he wanted, to play on a contending team, to play on the West Coast, and to get a closer’s job. He also gets around the annual salary he had hoped for. Fuentes could even end up with that third year if the option vests. This was a good job by Fuentes and his agent.
The Angels paid about 9 million per year to grab Fuentes. That leaves them with about 13 million to spend. Most teams looking for an outfielder also have that amount, so it is fair to say that the Angels could go out and sign a player like Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, or Bobby Abreu. With the bat added, it will have been a solid offseason for Anaheim.
Teams that missed out on Fuentes will have to turn to Trevor Hoffman. You could see a bidding war happening between the Cardinals, Brewers, Dodgers, and Tigers. Things are really starting to move in the hot stove season.