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Tampa Bay Rays seemingly interested in closer Brian Fuentes

The Rays could be close to getting a new closer. They appear interested in free agent left-hander Brian Fuentes and are trying to add him to anchor the rebuilt bullpen. Fuentes, 35, had 24 saves and a 2.81 ERA in 48 games for the Angels and Twins last season after leading the majors with 48 saves (and a 3.93 ERA) in 2009 for Los Angeles.

Nearly a dozen teams are reported to be interested in Fuentes, coming off a two-year, $17.5 million deal that had a $9 million option for 2011 that failed to vest based on his number of games finished. While the Rays aren't likely to bid anything close to that, they can offer the chance to close games. Some other interested teams, such as the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins, would use him as a setup man or specialist.

Foxsports.com reported Fuentes is seeking a salary of more than $5 million and a multiyear deal. Because he is a Type B free agent, the Rays wouldn't have to give up a draft choice.

Killebrew has cancer

MINNEAPOLIS — Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. The 74-year-old released a statement Thursday, saying he expects to make a full recovery: "With my wife, Nita, by my side, I have begun preparing for what is perhaps the most difficult battle of my life." Killebrew hit 573 homers and made 11 All-Star appearances during his 22-year career spent mostly with the Twins and Washington Senators. He retired in 1975 after one season with the Royals. He ranks 11th on the all-time homer list, and his eight seasons with 40 or more is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Tampa Bay Rays seemingly interested in closer Brian Fuentes 12/30/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 31, 2010 12:06am]
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