Brian Fuentes signs with the Angels

DMZ · January 2, 2009 at 11:57 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Two year deal, replaces Rodriguez as closer, causing me to roll my eyes about bullpen roles.

Fun fact: Fuentes, former Mariner, went to the Rockies in Cirillo trade and became the only really successful member of that deal (he went along with Jose Paniagua and Denny Stark‘s toxic contract).

Further fun story: Fuentes was one of the biggest surprises and misses in my baseball writing career. I didn’t think Fuentes was going to ever put it together, and was thinking about leaving him out of that year’s Baseball Prospectus. He’d been in the system for five years, and looked to me like maybe he’d be back-end bullpen material at best, and I had a lot of more important players to cover. Talking to Tacoma Rainiers broadcaster Mike Curto in researching the Baseball Prospectus chapter, he said “I don’t know about that, he’s got that slider, he could be a lefty specialist right now.”

Then Keith Law gave me a stern talking-to on the authors list about leaving him out.

Fuentes has turned that motion and that slider into a nice little career and gone to the All-Star game three times.

On the other hand, as Ivan likes to remind me, I once thought Brian Raabe was the future of the M’s infield, so I’ve got that going for me too.


21 Responses to “Brian Fuentes signs with the Angels”

  1. B.W.Marx on January 2nd, 2009 12:11 pm

    which is nice.

  2. Lance on January 2nd, 2009 12:36 pm

    What Denny Stark toxic contract?

    Now, Denny Neagle, that was a toxic contract!

    As for Paniagua, he just became plain toxic.

  3. msb on January 2nd, 2009 12:47 pm

    interesting to see how he does back in the AL, or if the slider carries over.

    so, any one want Andruw? 🙂

  4. dcs on January 2nd, 2009 12:55 pm

    Interestingly, the M’s thought so highly of Stark, that they resigned him to a minor league contract this year. Also, I was at an Angels/Mariners game at Angel Stadium in I believe 2001 or 2002, and Denny Stark was the winning pitcher that game. He actually pitched a terrific game that day.

  5. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 2nd, 2009 12:57 pm

    I think Fuentes will do OK with the halos. His numbers will drop big time from K-Rod, but I think that will be a product of what the Angels lost and/or an inability to keep producing the way they did down last year’s strech with Tex.
    Also, please give me a refresher too as it’s been many years since I’ve heard mention of Denny Stark…what was that contract?

  6. MarcS on January 2nd, 2009 3:34 pm

    Hey, this reminds me of “The Cirillo Plan” ASBSM post from 2001!

    It’s long and complicated and I don’t know how much of the perceived benefit was supposed to accrue from unloading players like Abbott, but by coincidence this trade also involved what has got to rank as Dave’s biggest miss:

    “Watch Cirillo’s patience return, leading to a .420 on base % and a chase at the major league doubles record. Watch him win a gold glove and post a .900 OPS.”

    If only your biggest misses came on trades we _didn’t_ make…

  7. wabbles on January 2nd, 2009 4:12 pm

    I seem to remember a fourth pitcher in the deal, but maybe not. I don’t remember Stark having a toxic contract but that’s not surprising either.

  8. DMZ on January 2nd, 2009 4:22 pm

    I just looked it up, and I have no idea what I was thinking there — Stark was just some random guy. I wasn’t thinking of Neagle, but I can’t remember who it was. Doesn’t matter, I’ll update.

  9. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on January 2nd, 2009 4:31 pm

    Perhaps Sele? He was our highest paid Mariner in 2001 right before the trade at $7m.

  10. Mike Snow on January 2nd, 2009 4:36 pm

    Mike Hampton, maybe, since he was at least once Mariner property?

  11. adamt on January 2nd, 2009 5:22 pm

    Check out who is Cirillo’s 4th similar batter, eck!

  12. SonOfZavaras on January 2nd, 2009 5:45 pm

    Sorry for the double post.

    But, DMZ… you were far from the only guy who didn’t think Fuentes would amount to much…when he first came up, I thought “hmmm…killer, unusual pickoff move but the league will adapt to that in about two weeks…nothing special otherwise”.

    And in the Cirillo trade, I thought we’d fleeced the Rox back then.

    Regarding toxic contract, Neagle and Hampton were the only two I remember from that era the Rockies committed to. I think you were thinking Hampton.

  13. SonOfZavaras on January 2nd, 2009 5:46 pm

    On the lighter side…Brian Raabe? Really? Oh, well….I once thought Arquimedez Pozo…

  14. cheeseheadtransplantmax on January 2nd, 2009 6:21 pm

    Vidro may be 4th, but Winn is 7th. At least Winn plays defense and runs. Yes, I realize he is with SF.

  15. NoStars on January 2nd, 2009 7:18 pm

    Oh Jose Vidro. But he’s a switch hitter! Did anyone read the Jeff Passan article on Yahoo!?

  16. Adam S on January 2nd, 2009 7:26 pm

    Are you thinking of Kevin Jarvis’s bad contract they got back when they traded away Cirillo?

  17. Benne on January 2nd, 2009 7:45 pm

    Yeah, we were all pretty dumb back then. I remember being incredibly excited about getting Cirillo, then cursing his name less than half a season later. Good times.

  18. Bruce on January 2nd, 2009 7:46 pm

    Ah, Brian Raabe. Me, too.

    I still wonder how he would have fared as a stop-gap.

  19. spokane dude on January 2nd, 2009 8:04 pm

    I’d rather face Brian Fuentes than Francisco Rodriguez in the 9th inning. Good news for the Ms, methinks.

  20. Mere Tantalisers on January 2nd, 2009 9:34 pm

    Well, there goes your credibility.

  21. Mat on January 2nd, 2009 11:32 pm

    To be fair to ye olde prognosticators of yore, there had to be a decent chunk of bad luck involved with how badly Cirillo turned out. I’m too lazy to calculate his Marcel forecast for 2002, but it would have had to be at least a .360 wOBA, maybe a .355 wOBA, and he wound up with a .281 wOBA. So it was essentially an unpredictable drop-off. Even in a highly disappointing year, he should have been able to hit for at least a .310-.315 wOBA.

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