08/27/10 8:52 PM ET
Fuentes to Twins for 'prospect with upside'
Team thanks closer for his two years, which he 'enjoyed'
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Fuentes, who posted a 3.52 ERA and 23 saves in 39 appearances with the Angels this season, was claimed off waivers earlier in the day by the Twins and the teams came to terms on an agreement late this afternoon.
Angels general manager Tony Reagins said the club will "soon" receive a "prospect with upside" as part of the trade and thanked Fuentes for his two seasons with the club. It's still unknown how much of Fuentes' salary will be picked up by the Twins, as there is $1.89 million left on his contract this season.
"We want to thank Brian Fuentes because he was a tremendous person, a great athlete and a great competitor," Reagins said. "He did his job for us while he was with our organization so we want to thank Brian for all he's done for us. He's looking forward to a new opportunity and we are as well."
Fuentes, 35, went 5-6 with 71 saves and a 3.76 ERA in 104 appearances with the Angels the past two seasons with his 71 saves leading American League closers. But Fuentes, who hadn't been part of a trade since 2001 after his rookie season, is expected to be used in a setup role in Minnesota.
"It's kind of a whirlwind right now trying to take it all in and thinking about all the things I need to [do]," Fuentes said. "There's some reflection when I first signed here and what we came to do and the things that could have gone differently. But then you start looking ahead to other stuff. But I definitely enjoyed my team here with a great group of guys."
Reagins and Angels manager Mike Scioscia said the move doesn't indicate they are giving up on this season and building for next season, as veteran reliever Fernando Rodney will serve as the club's closer the rest of the season, and young relievers Michael Kohn and Jordan Walden have impressed so far.
"I think if we didn't have a guy like Fernando Rodney you could make that argument, but I feel like our bullpen is going to be as strong as we've seen," Scioscia said. "We have a lot of guys who are going to get the ball and get opportunities and hold leads."
Reagins went as far as to say that he won't even look for a closer this offseason, as Rodney, who is under contract next year for $5.5 million, is expected to remain as the closer in 2011.
"We feel good about Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning," Reagins said. "Brian did his job with us by leading the league in saves last year and competed well this year. But we feel good about Fernando closing for us now and in the future."
The Angels, who have 24 players on their 25-man roster, are expected to make a roster move on Saturday.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.