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December 6, 2008 12:09 PM

Fuentes to cut ties

LHP Brian Fuentes will decline the Rockies arbitration offer.

The Rockies offered the free-agent reliever arbitration a week ago, and he has until Sunday night to decide on whether to accept. Sources close to the situation said Fuentes has decided to pursue the free-agent options instead of returning to the Rockies.

If Fuentes accepted arbitration he would be considered a signed player, and his salary would be decided by an arbitrator. The projected figure is $10 million. As a free agent, Fuentes most likely will recevive a three-year deal for more than $30 million. The Mets have shown the most serious interest so far.

By offering arbitration, the Rockies were prepared to bring Fuentes back, feeling his returns would fill a bullpen need. With Fuentes declining, however, the Rockies will receive two picks in next June's draft, inlcuidng the first-round pick from a team that signs him, and a pick between the first and second rounds.

--Tracy Ringolsby



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