April 11, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Brian Fuentes (40) pitches the ball against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The Oakland A's have designated 36-year-old, left-handed relief pitcher Brian Fuentes for assignment. There have not been any reports specifically linking the Mets and Fuentes, but given the team's search for bullpen help, Sandy Alderson could very well make an attempt to bring Fuentes to Queens. Since he was designated for assignment, the A's have ten days to put Fuentes on waivers, trade, or release him.
While Fuentes has had some success in the past, he was been downright awful this year. He's posted a 6.84 ERA, 5.53 FIP, and 4.73 xFIP in 25.0 innings of work out of Oakland's bullpen.
Over the course of his career, Fuentes has a 3.58 ERA, 3.85 FIP, and 4.06 xFIP. He has typically been far more successful against left-handed hitters, as evidenced by his 2.90 FIP vs. left-handed opponents and 4.20 FIP vs. right-handed opponents.
This year, Fuentes hasn't even fared well against left-handed hitters, but he did as recently as last year. And despite his age, Fuentes' average fastball has been clocked at 90.4 mph this year, his highest mark since he averaged 91.6 mph in 2008 with the Rockies.
Fuentes is making $5 million this year, and his contract includes an option for $6.5 million in 2013 with a $500k buyout. Fuentes could make some sense for the Mets, but only if he were available for virtually nothing of consequence. Even picking up Fuentes' remaining salary and option buyout seems like a high price to pay for a pitcher who is far from a guarantee.