A Deal for Fuentes is a Deal for Humanity, or Something

Amongst the many struggles the Rockies have had this year, one flying under the radar is Brian Fuentes regressing slightly from his previous performances. Perhaps it's unfair to expect the 32 year old to continuously post ERA+ of 140 and above for the fourth straight season, but Fuentes ERA isn't the only thing taking a beating this season.

Season K/BF BB/BF K/BB
2003 0.256 0.106 2.41
2004 0.239 0.095 2.53
2005 0.283 0.106 2.68
2006 0.266 0.095 2.81
2007 0.22 0.09 2.43
2008 0.203 0.08 2.55

His WHIP is up from the lower levels of 1.1 to 1.375 and instead of striking out, since 2003 his strikeout per batter faced and walks per batter faced have went down, although not so much that it's too concerning:

Fuentes has been rumored to be on the trading block for at least the past two seasons, remember the Yankees rumor? Fuentes is the ultimate lefty killer, his OPS this season against lefties is .478 and career .643, righties don't exactly blowtorch him either, but if he's acquired by a contender I wouldn't' expect his role as a hybrid set-up man/lefty specialist to change.

His top PECOTA comparison is Jason Christianson who fell off after turning 32, the same age as Fuentes is, and a free agent at the end of the year Fuentes ranked as a "class A" free agent last off-season. If the Rockies sit on him and choose not to re-sign him they will receive two compensatory picks in exchange.

Fuentes has showed little loss in velocity, and per Fangraphs has actually gained nearly half a mile per hour on his fastball this season, a full MPH on his slider, and nil on his change. He's the recipient of an unlucky strand rate - a career average of 76.6% has given way to a 63.4% strand rate this year, something bound to revert eventually. Fuentes BABIP also looks quite high, so whatever team acquires him could be getting an elite reliever at a discount rate, think Dan Wheeler last trade deadline.

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