The Marlins have asked the Pirates about Octavio Dotel, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse. Marlins relievers have combined for a 4.66 ERA and though Dotel's 4.55 mark doesn't appear much better, he is a reliable arm who still strikes more than one batter out per inning (though he is walking a characteristically high number of hitters this year). Dotel has 17 saves, while the Marlins have blown 12.
The 37-41 Marlins trail the Braves by 8.5 games in the NL East. They opened the season with a $47MM payroll, even after they were prompted to raise their payroll, so adding Dotel's $3.25MM salary will be a consideration. A trade wouldn't necessarily mean a payroll increase, though; the Rangers and Giants showed this week that payroll-neutral deals are possible. The Pirates' $4.5MM option for 2011 becomes mutual if he is traded, so the Marlins would not have the rights to him after this season if they made a deal.
The Marlins have been looking for relievers for months and their search recently led them back to Armando Benitez. There's no indication that the Marlins are serious about acquiring Dotel, or even that they have decided to be buyers this summer. They and others teams considering relievers may pursue arms such as Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg, Matt Capps, D.J. Carrasco, Kerry Wood and Joakim Soria this month.