His role will come into play as well, and the Rays are stepping up as one of the teams willing to bring him in as a closer, whereas several others might be looking at him in a setup role.
According to a blog item on the St. Petersburg Times' website on Thursday, the Rays would be looking at Fuentes as a closer to replace departed free agent Rafael Soriano. The Times' Marc Topkin reports that while the Rays might not be the highest bidder, they can offer Fuentes the opportunity to close.
Fuentes made $9 million last year in the second year of a two-year contract with the Angels. He's seeking more than $5 million per year this time around in a multiyear deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox could be interested in the 35-year-old lefty, who has been particularly dominant against left-handed hitting in recent years, as a late-innings specialist. The Twins, who used him in a setup role last year after acquiring him from the Angels in an August waiver deal, also are said to be interested, along with the Phillies and Mets, among others.
Here's a look at the rest of Thursday's news from around the Majors:
Starter Bartolo Colon, who pitched in just 19 games from 2008-09 and didn't pitch in the Majors last season, told reporters in the Dominican Republic that the Indians, Yankees and Rangers are interested in having him pitch in 2011.
The 37-year-old Colon has been playing in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, and he went 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA in seven regular-season appearances. Colon was originally signed by the Indians as an amateur in 1993.
There remains some debate as to whether the Yankees are interested in Soriano, who is the premier closer remaining on the market. Rosenthal tweeted that the Yankees "are not after" Soriano, while SI.com's Jon Heyman wrote the Yankees "have checked in on" Soriano, who would be a setup man for Mariano Rivera.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.