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  1. Does the money keep Kevin Jepsen out of the closer spot this year? His peripherals are and have been pretty ridiculous recently.

    Comment by The Usual SusBeck — May 11, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  2. Actually, money might thrust Jepsen into the closer’s role this year. Fuentes’ deal vests if he finishes 55 games this season, and if he’s continually out-performed by Jepsen, he’s got no grounds for a grievance. Of course, delusional Angels fans tried justifying Rodney’s dumb deal by claiming it would be an excuse to get out of Fuentes’ dumb vesting option, but replacing one crappy, overpaid closer with another was never the solution – finding someone better was.

    Comment by Kevin S. — May 11, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

  3. I actually wrote an article recently for bleacherreport calling Fuentes the 14th best “closer” in the AL (and that doesn’t even count better setup men like Joba Chamberlain), and has two (TWO!) Blue Jays on the list.

    It’s well documented that the Angels have a closer fetish. Why Jepsen was a non-option for 2010, I will never know.

    Maybe now the Angels will finally find out that their “way” is unsustainable and they need to spend for something other than “veteran presence”

    Comment by Joe R — May 11, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

  4. They’re also paying Justin Speier $5.2 million and Scot Shields $5.3 million. That’s $25 million between 4 relievers of questionable quality.

    Comment by Mark — May 11, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

  5. I actually DON’T see that happening.

    I see Jepsen as part of a trade to bring more relief help to the Angels when Fuentes and Rodney struggle as more likely than Jepsen becoming the closer.

    Comment by BX — May 11, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  6. There was a time when the Angels put together a sensational bullpen in a very cost effective manner.

    The 2004 Angels (WAR/salary/how acquired)

    Francisco Rodriguez: 4.0 / $375k / amateur free agent
    Scot Shields: 2.4 / $375k / 38th round draft pick
    Kevin Gregg: 1.5 / $301.5k / free agent
    Brendan Donnelly: 0.8 / $375k / free agent

    Total WAR: 8.7
    Total cost: $1.427 million (rounded)

    Why did the Angels forget that spending millions on a bullpen is not necessary?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Angels&pos=all&stats=pit&qual=0&type=6&season=2004&month=0

    Comment by The Joe From 1993 — May 11, 2010 @ 5:08 pm

  7. I don’t think they ever realized how to put a cheap bullpen together. I think it’s a case of dumb luck that all those guys came around at the same time.

    Comment by Not David — May 11, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

  8. Jon Rauch is on pace for almost 40 saves, better go give him 3 years / $18,000,000.

    Comment by Joe R — May 11, 2010 @ 7:03 pm

  9. As poorly (and lucky) as Rodney has pitched this season, he is the leader in the newly minted shutdowns – meltdowns category with 11 shutdowns and 0 meltdowns. Jepsen is at 11-2 and Fuentes 3-2.

    Comment by Xeifrank — May 11, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  10. I watched the game yesterday. Fuentes was having awful control problems with his breaking ball – 1 HBP, 1 wild pitch behind the batter, a bouncer way outside that would have been a wild pitch had it not been for a great grab by Napoli. One of the runs that accounted for the blown save was caused by a walk to Zobrist I believe – if you strike him out, then Longoria never comes up and he escapes the inning with 1 run and a save.

    My point is, I think most of Fuentes’ problems this year can be chalked up to control problems. Any left-handed closer, no matter how good his stuff, will give up a game-tying double to Evan Longoria once in awhile.

    Comment by David — May 11, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

  11. I was thinking the exact same thing. I had always thought of the Angels as a team that really knew how to put together a bullpen in a smart way. … And then they threw a boatload of money at Fuentes. I scratched my head and thought: “Well, clearly they have devoted more time to this than me. They must know something I don’t.” After these last couple of seasons though, plus signing Rodney, I’m definitely in head-scratch mode myself.

    Maybe they have just been getting lucky in the past?

    Comment by B N — May 12, 2010 @ 4:40 am

  12. No. It wasn’t luck. It was necessity.

    Prior to Arte Moreno’s acquisition of the team, the Angels were operating under a much tighter budget. They didn’t have the luxury of throwing big dollars at middle relief pitchers. In the early 2000s then GM Bill Stoneman’s strategy was to stock the bullpen with power arms. During this time he picked up players like Ben Weber, Brendan Donnelly, Derrick Turnbow, and Bobby Jenks. Some worked out, some didn’t. But ultimately the Angels had excellent bullpens circa 2002-2005 that didn’t cost a fortune.

    Comment by The Joe From 1993 — May 12, 2010 @ 10:21 am

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