Results tagged ‘ Octavio Dotel ’
The Tigers are closing in on filling their need for a reliever to handle the seventh inning, and it’s looking more like Octavio Dotel is the answer.
Without naming names, team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated they’re zeroing in on their guy.
“We’re making some strides,” said Dombrowski, who had talks ongoing late Wednesday afternoon just before his regularly scheduled daily meeting with reporters.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, the Tigers were one of two teams primarily involved in negotiations on Dotel, according to a source. Detroit has other options, including Luis Ayala, but Dombrowski indicated they’re zeroing in on a somebody, and that adding that arm has become a priority.
“If there’s one area, after we signed [Gerald] Laird, after we signed [Ramon] Santiago back, if there’s one area that probably received a little more focus than us than others, it’s been trying to tweak that bullpen,” Dombrowski said. “We’ve been looking at a lot of different [bullpen] options, but we do have priority/priorities at this point.”
Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com tweeted that the Tigers are the front-runners for Dotel, with a National League club also involved. The Cardinals, where Dotel won a World Series ring a couple months ago, and Brewers have also been linked to Dotel in recent days.
Dotel is believed to be seeking a two-year contract. Dombrowski said Wednesday he would “prefer not to” offer a multi-year deal to a reliever at this point.
“The preference would be short-term,” Dombrowski said, though he said that sentiment isn’t as strong as it would be for any starting pitcher they might sign for the fifth spot.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes talked with reliever Octavio Dotel, who confirmed interest from the Tigers, as well as the Cardinals, Brewers and Mets. Dotel apparently told Rojas he’s interested in returning to the Cards, whom he said have offered him a one-year contract. He would like a two-year offer.
Dotel is 38 years old. A two-year offer could be an interesting risk for a team. For the Tigers, it could be increasingly so, given that Jose Valverde will be a free agent next winter and Joaquin Benoit will be going into his contract year at that point. What the Tigers bullpen looks like then could be interesting.
Keep in mind, too, that Joel Zumaya is still out there. He’s going to throw for scouts Dec. 14, and his agents believe they can get as many as 20 teams watching him.
Octavio Dotel has made 695 appearances and pitched 888 1/3 innings in his 13-year Major League career. He has pitched the seventh inning in 162 of those games, according to baseball-reference.com, including 86 games over the past four seasons. If he’s going to pitch in a Tigers uniform, he’s going to have to get used to that kind of work.
That’s a decision Dotel might have to make, and he’ll likely have a few choices.
The Tigers have indeed had discussions about Dotel. So have the Mets and Cardinals, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, and the Reds, according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, who first tweeted about the Tigers’ interest.
While the other three teams have uncertainty at closer, the Tigers have theirs with Jose Valverde, who hasn’t blown a save since Sept. 2010. Detroit also has its eighth-inning setup man with Joaquin Benoit, one of the stingiest relievers in the American League over the last two years.
The fact that the Tigers have shown interest in Dotel should sound familiar. They’ve been tied together in rumors ever since 2007, when the Tigers were looking for relief help at the Trade Deadline. They had rumors the last few years when Dotel has been on the market, but nothing has ever come out of it, and Dotel has always landed elsewhere. He has been a closer and setup man all over the place — Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Colorado, Toronto and St. Louis in the last five seasons alone — but now he could be courted more for depth.
When Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about his bullpen at season’s end, he left open the possibility that they could add a veteran reliever to help bridge the gap between their rotation and the Benoit/Valverde duo. It’s not exactly glamour work, but it’s a regular gig on a club with a chance to win. But then, the defending world champion Cardinals and Reds have that chance to contend, too.
This early in the process, it’s unlikely that the Tigers have discussed roles with relievers such as Dotel. Still, it doesn’t take much of a look to realize how the Tigers bullpen shakes out. Valverde is entering the lone option year on his contract, putting him in line for free agency next winter. But Dotel’s last two contracts have been one year and an option, which has been declined, which in part explains why he has bounced around. The Cards turned down Dotel’s $3.5 million option last month.
Having just turned 38, Dotel can go year to year and look for the best situation. The question now is where the Tigers rank, and how interested they are.