Brian Fuentes Signs With A's As Monster Bullpen Takes Shape

Just days after signing Grant Balfour, the Oakland Athletics have made another aggressive move in the free agency market, signing Brian Fuentes to a two-year contract.

Fuentes - who pulled home $9 million a year ago as a member of the Angels and Twins - will earn around $5 million per season with Oakland, and will join what looks to be a deep, talented bullpen. Fuentes and Balfour will each set up for closer Andrew Bailey, and will be supported by Michael Wuertz, Jerry Blevins, Craig Breslow, and Brad Ziegler. It's a bullpen without many weaknesses, and as long as it's able to stay healthy, it should help the A's protect a good number of late leads.

The 35-year-old Fuentes racked up 182 saves between 2005-2010 as a left-handed closer with the Rockies and Angels. A midseason trade to Minnesota last year bumped him back to a setup role, which is what he'll continue to do with Oakland, but he nevertheless could and should be highly effective. The southpaw dominates left-handed opposition, having held them to a .607 OPS over his career, but he's also been able to have success against righties as well, leaving him without too large of a platoon split. Used in the right spots, Fuentes should be a real weapon with the A's.

While the Rangers are considered favorites in the AL West, the A's are right there on their heels. For more, check out Athletics Nation.

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