Player of the Day: Brian Fuentes
Angel fans, Meet your new closer.
We're actually going to have two lefties in the pen, and pretty good ones at that. Fuentes comes cheaper than expected, at the start of free agent season speculation was that he'd get 3 years and 30 to 40 million. Angels sign him for a guaranteed 2 years and 17.5 million with a 3rd year option.
A bargain in that sense, and a lot cheaper than keeping K-Rod, but I think that closers in MLB are a bit overvalued. Using the concept of leverage, Fuentes' innings are roughly twice as valuable as the average pitcher, since he's pitching in tight game situations. But why pay him for the leverage? The only reason he's getting the leverage is because the team will deliberately give it to him. The leverage could have gone to Shields, or Arredondo, just as easily. I think it would make more sense to split the leverage bonus among your top relievers, unless you have a clear dominant closer like Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, or Jon Papelbon. With those guys, there is no doubt you want them to have the ball with the game on the line. With the Angels, do I want Shields out there, Fuentes, or Arredondo?
Doesn't make a big difference to me.
Let's take a look at his Fangraphs page. He's a big guy, 6'4, 240 pounds. He throws a fastball in the low 90's, 91.5 last year. His data shows no loss in fastball velocity over the last four years, which is a good sign to me. He also throws a slider (15%) and change (10%).
He'll be a nice addition, probably worth an extra win. I just hope the Angels don't stop here. The 5th starter spot is a hole, and Derek Lowe could improve the Angels by 4 wins there. A slugging LF/DH like Milton Bradley or Adam Dunn could probably improve the teamby 3-4 wins as well.