Cardinals Rumors: LHP Fuentes on Radar

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 19: Brian Fuentes #57 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning during a MLB baseball game June 19, 2011 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 2-1. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals are interested in acquiring lefty reliever Brian Fuentes, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

The Cardinals already boast two left-handers in their bullpen, but the struggles of Marc Rzepczynkski and the novelty Barret Browning's MLB experience may make Fuentes a desirable addition for St Louis. The 36-year-old left-hander, who was designated for assignment by the Oakland Athletics last week, owns a 6.84 ERA in 25 innings of work this season.

Once an elite reliever, Fuentes' K/9 rate has declined considerably in recent years, dropping from an average of 9.8 batters per nine from 2001-2010 to just 6.5 per nine the past two years. The sidearm lefty is making $5 million this year and has a 2013 team option worth $6.5 million that includes a $500k buyout.

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Should the Cardinals trade for Brian Fuentes?

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