Brian Fuentes Could Help Mets Bullpen Despite Early-Season Struggles

Jeffrey Schmidt@JeffSchmidt9Correspondent IIIJuly 4, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 08:  Relief pitcher Brian Fuentes #40 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the interleague MLB game at Chase Field on June 8, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the A's 9-8.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Athletics have announced that they have designated left-hander Brian Fuentes for assignment.

Fuentes, 36, is currently in the second year of a two-year contract that is set to pay him $10.5 million. He'll earn $5 million this year, and his contract includes a $6.5 million club option for 2013, but it also includes a $500,000 buyout.

The move comes as no surprise because Fuentes has been atrocious all season. In 25 innings, the left-hander has posted a 6.84 ERA with a WHIP of 1.600. 

Fuentes should still draw some interest despite his struggles because he is a left-handed specialist that has had some success over his 12-year career. Teams are always in need of left-handed pitching, and one team that could come calling is the New York Mets

The Mets' bullpen has certainly witnessed some struggles this season, especially when it comes to facing left-handed batters. New York's bullpen has given up 137 runs in 215.1 innings, and has a combined 4.93 ERA. That figure happens to be the worst in baseball, and it makes it obvious that the Mets need to add a piece before the deadline if they want to remain contenders.   

A left-handed veteran like Fuentes would provide the Mets with a player that has some big-game experience, which is something the young team could certainly use down the stretch. 

According to the New York Post, the Mets are considering bringing back Francisco Rodriquez. While getting K-Rod may certainly be a possibility, the team should still look at other options.

It is evident that the Mets are going to be buyers instead of sellers during the next few weeks, and it will be interesting to see if this team can improve as they make a push towards the playoffs.