Report: Athletics pushing to sign free agent reliever Brian Fuentes

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The Athletics just added Grant Balfour to help strengthen their bullpen yesterday, but it appears that they aren’t done yet. Major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that the club is also pushing to sign Brian Fuentes.

Fuentes, 35, posted a 2.81 ERA and 47/20 K/BB ratio over 48 innings between the Angels and Twins last season. He held left-handed batters to a .128/.222/.149 batting line in 58 plate appearances last season and hasn’t given up a home run to a left-handed batter since the 2008 season. Fuentes, a California native, qualified as a Type B free agent this winter, but wasn’t offered arbitration by the Twins.

Rosenthal hears that Fuentes will likely command a two-year deal in the range of $12 million. He’s also drawing strong interest from the Blue Jays, who would likely give him an opportunity to win the ninth-inning gig, as opposed to Oakland, where Andrew Bailey is an established and elite closer.

Long time NL umpire Dutch Rennert has died

MLB.com
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MLB.com reports that long time umpire Dutch Rennert has died at the age of 88.

Rennert retired as a National League umpire after the 1992 season, so a lot of you didn’t get a chance to see him. But believe me, if you got a chance to see him in action, you’d remember him. He had one of the most distinct strikeout calls in history. He’d go turn to the side, go down on one knee, point with purpose and bellow “STRIKE . . . ONNNNNNEEEEE!”

It was quite the scene, man:

 

I used to love it when Rennert called a game I was watching on TV. I always knew the count.

Rest in Peace, Dutch. I cannot vouch for the peace of whoever is on the cloud next to yours, though.