Wednesday, November 12, 2008

think again

Here's what I really think about Brian Fuentes.
If ERA and good looks were inversely proportional, they would have to rename the CY Young award after him. 

(On second thought, since ERA is better when it's lower, I guess that would make it directly proportional. Too much math? Sorry.) 

Okay, cheap shot. He does have a good arm and (despite my best efforts), talent and ability are the most important factors in determining whether or not to pay players the exorbitant amounts of money their agents think they deserve. 

Brian's agent thinks he deserves something like 3 years at $10-12 million per. According to various unrecognized and unreliable sources, Brian Fuentes is a left-handed relief pitcher with a submarine-style delivery that keeps batters guessing. In other words, he is a superhero. He probably actually deserves a big paycheck. 

Here's why I don't want Mozeliak to go after Fuentes (looks aside): 
  • (1) The Mets want him, too. Not that the Mets don't flex their muscles a little every time a new free agent is unveiled, but my "sources" indicate they are extra-serious about this guy, leading me to believe that he's something special. Unfortunately, the more competition there is over a player, the higher the price goes, and the less likely we are to end up with him anyway. Call this my "preemptive sour grapes" defense. 
  • (2) He's 33. Consider the FA options that are out there (in the category of LHRP): Trevor Hoffman (whom, by the way, I wouldn't mind seeing in Cardinal red) is 40; Brian Shouse is 40; Will Ohman is 31; Joe Biemel is 31; Jeremy Affeldt is 29. (Okay, so I'd be amenable to signing any one (or two) of these pitchers.) He's not the oldest, but he's certainly not the youngest. He does have an underhanded delivery that my "sources" tell me will add roughly 3.67 extra years to his career. I just don't see anything that makes him sound like "the pitcher we've been waiting all our lives for." Call this my "low-hanging fruit" defense. (Maybe the brainwashing is working.) 
  • (3) He's not just a LOOGY, he's a closer. First, this doesn't bode well for my plans for Izzy. It would take some of the pressure off Perez (who, in my opinion, needs a little more big league experience before he's ready to take on the full-time demands of that particular post), but if he's the closer, he wouldn't be available for 6th, 7th, or 8th inning duty against left-handed batters, right? Right. Tony's not going to want to close-by-committee all season, and even if we did, it would only add to the pressure on the rest of the relievers. We need a LOOGY and a closer, and no, this is not one of those situations where you can go two-for-one. Call this my "have our cake and eat it too" defense. The one thing that would make me reconsider is if we were able to pick up Fuentes and another lefty reliever. All those who think there's any chance of this happening, keep dreaming.