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Cardinals add lefty reliever Brian Fuentes

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Brian Fuentes is one of just six left-handers in baseball history with 200 saves. (US Presswire)

As expected, the Cardinals have added left-handed reliever Brian Fuentes. The team announced Saturday that it has signed the 36-year-old reliever to a minor-league deal.

Oakland released the veteran on Thursday after designating him for assignment on July 3. The A's will still have to play the roughly $2.5 million they owe him for the rest of the season, while the Cardinals will pay just a prorated portion of the big-league minimum.

Fuentes was 2-2 with five saves and a 6.84 ERA for the A's this season.

The Cardinals currently have Marc Rzepczynski and rookie Barret Browning as their left-handed relievers. Rzepczynski was a major contributor in the team's drive to the World Series title last season, but hasn't been as good this season, putting up a 5.52 ERA in 40 games. Browining has appeared in five games and hasn't allowed a run since his debut.

While Fuentes is one of just six lefties in baseball history with 200 or more career saves (he has 204), he may be used as left-handed specialist in St. Louis. This season right-handers are hitting .304/.368/.536 against him, while lefties are hitting .265/.333/.471 against him.

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