Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fuentes Signs With The Angels

The closer market got a little smaller today with the L.A. Angels of Anaheim announcing they have signed Brian Fuentes. Fuentes is coming off of a great 2008 season where he had 30 saves and a 2.73ERA. The move once again signifies how much Anaheim prides itself on having of the deepest and deepest bullpens in baseball.

FANTASY IMPACT

Expect the lefty to have another solid 30+ save season in Anaheim this season. The Angels play in one of the worst divisions in baseball, so they should be winning plenty of ball games and giving him plenty of opportunities. He will be undervalued at draft time because of his '07 struggles and because he didn't take over the closer's role until the end of April, when the Rockies had finally grown tired of the Manny Corpas Pyrotechnics Show getting lit up every night.

I should note, however, that Corpas is currently listed as the Rockies closer for next season, according to ESPN.com's depth chart. Given his struggles early last season, he could be a good sleeper closing candidate that could be had much later on in the draft. It is now also worth noting that his top set up man will be Houston Street, who has thrived in the closer's role for years. I could envision the Rocks handing the job to Street and then trading him while his value is high and then hand Corpas the job later on in the season.

The biggest impact this move has is on guys like Scot Shields and Jose Arrendondo, who have both been dominant set up men in the past and were expected to replace Francisco Rodriguez as the Angel's closer. Shields having more experience might have given him the edge going into Spring Training, however many believed that Arrendondo would have been given a shot to close first. It was a case of Shields being so good at his job, they wouldn 't want to move him.

None of this matters now, as Fuentes will get the ball at the end of the game, for a team that stands to win a lot of ball games.

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