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Fuentes looks forward to new role with Twins
The 35-year-old reliever joined his new team after flying into Seattle from Southern California. The first-place Twins acquired the four-time All-Star from the Angels on Friday for a player to be named.
“I think it’s good for both parties,” Fuentes said. “The way things were going over there I wasn’t throwing a whole bunch. They had an opportunity to do some things to make their club better and Minnesota did also. An opportunity came up and it wasn’t really any of my decision, but I’m happy with where I ended up.”
Fuentes knows he will need to approach the game differently as a setup man for Minnesota closer Matt Capps. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire chatted with the left-hander before the game about his new role.
“I’ve been a closer for a long time, so it’s going to take me a little bit to get back into that setup mentality,” Fuentes said. “But I’m here to help this team win in different shapes and forms. Gardenhire said I’m going to see some lefties, see some setup roles and maybe even some closing if Capps needs a blow. But he was doing a fine job before I got here, so it’s his job.”
Fuentes didn’t expect to end up with Minnesota.
“I was a little surprised the Twins picked me up,” he said. “I thought there were maybe some other teams that needed more bullpen help than these guys.”
Fuentes helped the Angels win their third straight AL West title last season, leading the majors with a career-high 48 saves after joining them as a free agent in December 2008. The AL Central-leading Twins will be his fourth team in 10 big league seasons. He began his career with Seattle in 2001, then spent seven seasons with the Colorado Rockies.
He was 1-5 with a 3.93 ERA and 48 saves in 55 chances last season, his first for Los Angeles after signing a $17.5 million, two-year contract in December 2008. He is likely to become a free agent again after this season.
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