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Cardinals sign veteran reliever Brian Fuentes to minor league contract

Jul 14, 2012, 2:08 PM EDT


UPDATE: The Cardinals just announced that they have signed Fuentes to a minor league contract. According to Ken Rosenthal of, the veteran reliever will report to the team’s Gulf Coast League affiliate on Monday and is expected to be in the minors for no more than two weeks.

Friday, 10:33 PM: Jon Heyman of reports that Fuentes is now “likely” to join the Cardinals.

Friday, 10:30 PM: Brian Fuentes was granted his release by the Athletics this week after being designated for assignment, but he’s not having any trouble attracting potential suitors now that he’s a free agent.

Jon Heyman of reported earlier today that six teams have shown interest in Fuentes. Meanwhile, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he has interest in the veteran southpaw and hopes to hear a decision at some point this weekend.

Fuentes, 36, posted a 6.84 ERA and 18/10 K/BB ratio over 25 innings this season before getting the boot from Oakland. The Athletics are covering his remaining salary, roughly $2.5 million for the rest of this season and a $500,000 buyout on a $6.5 million option for next season, so he can sign anywhere for a pro-rated portion of the major league minimum. His closing days are over, but he figures to catch on somewhere as a middle reliever.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    Sounding like this could happen a soon as tomorrow, also sounding like righhander Cleto is the odd man out of the bullpen if it indeed does.

    Shane Robinson’s the odd man out in the outfield, Puma activated per Joe Strauss.

  2. mgflolox - Jul 14, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    Evidently, the Cards plan on losing a few more baseball games in the late innings. I’ve caught this guy’s act with the A’s for the last season and a half, and I can’t see where he brings any value to a major league team. Right now, he’s trading on name only.

  3. sfm073 - Jul 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Unless the cardinals see something wrong in his mechanics, whats the point in signing the guy?

  4. estecklerlhs - Jul 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Because he’s been good in the past and still has potential.

  5. 4d3fect - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Angels got rid of him for a good reason.

    So did the Athletics.

    Now I guess it’ the Cardinals’ turn to find a reason to get rid of him.

  6. 4d3fect - Jul 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    it’s , not it’

    stupid keyboard.

  7. sir1389 - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    He posts a career 3.58 era over 11 seasons. He definitely is no longer closer material but we desperately need help in the pen and a veteran pick up is not a bad move.

  8. spudchukar - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    With Scrabble struggling mightily, and Browning an unproven rule 5 guy, a veteran who has enjoyed success should be welcome. Sure he has had some ups and down, particularly as a closer, but St. Louis has know how to use him wisely. Personally, I think it is an upgrade over Romero, who was pegged as the second lefty to start the year, and flopped, and Sam Freeman who was unimpressive.

  9. okwhitefalcon - Jul 14, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    He’s this years version of Arthur Rhodes – low risk, possible reward.

    No more/no less really.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:55 PM

      This. Somehow, the cards manage to make things like this work for them. Rhodes wasn’t quite as bad for Texas in 2011 as Fuentes has been this year, but he was no great shakes… until the Cards grabbed him.

  10. pisano - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    It didn’t take long for a team to grab him, not because he’s a stopper, but because he’s a lefty. Lefthanders have nine lives in MLB.

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