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Veteran reliever Fuentes elects to retire

Veteran reliever Fuentes elects to retire

Veteran reliever Fuentes elects to retire
Left-hander Brian Fuentes, who pitched 12 Major League seasons for six teams, told his hometown newspaper Wednesday he has decided to retire.

Fuentes, 37, pitched for the A's and Cardinals this past season. He was released by Oakland and appeared in only six games for the Cardinals before asking for a leave of absence because of family issues.

"Ultimately, I was just having trouble with the time away from my family," Fuentes told the Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star. "I've been playing baseball for all of their lives, but I'd never been so far away as when I was in St. Louis.

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"I think at one point I went like two months without seeing them. Coming home and being able to put them to bed at night made me realize what I was missing."

Fuentes spent most of his career with the Rockies, making the All-Star team in three of his seven years in Colorado from 2002-08. He also pitched for the Mariners (2001), Angels (2009-10) and Twins (2010), in addition to the A's (2011-12) and Cardinals (2012).

A four-time All-Star, Fuentes led the Majors with 48 saves in 2009 and also was a member of the U.S. team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

He finishes his career 26-43 with a 3.62 ERA and 204 saves.

"I've had a great career," Fuentes told the Sun-Star. "I never dreamed I'd have had the opportunities or some of the successes that I've had.

"I'm very grateful for my peers and the friendships that I've made."

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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