Octavio Dotel Rumors
Peralta will earn $6MM in 2013 instead of a $500K buyout. The 30-year-old posted a .239/.305/.384 batting line in 585 plate appearances with Detroit this past year. While the Tigers would prefer more range at shortstop, they consider the $6MM price tag reasonable, according to Jon Heyman. Back in September I explained that the option would likely appeal to the Tigers given the scarcity of alternatives available.
Dotel appeared in 57 regular season games for the Tigers, posting a 3.57 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 58 innings. The 38-year-old continues to dominate right-handed hitters; they hit just .197/.217/.307 against him with 43 strikeouts and four walks. He'll earn $3.5MM instead of a $500K buyout.
Happy birthday to Kevin Youkilis (33), Jon Jay (27) and Leo Nun...er, make that Juan Oviedo (30). This is the first time Oviedo has been able to publicly celebrate his actual birthday in several years, as he kept a listed birthday of August 14, 1983 while living under the Leo Nunez identity.
Here's some news from around the major leagues as we head into Friday...
- Matt Cain's agent Rick Landrum tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that "we'll never give up hope" that Cain and the Giants can work out a contract extension before Opening Day. There hasn't been much progress in recent negotiations but the two sides "remain open for business," as Shea writes.
- In addition to Cain, there have been no new developments over the last week in Cole Hamels' extension talks with the Phillies, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
- Also from Olney (via Twitter), he hears from evaluators that there isn't much trade talk overall around the majors. Olney predicts things will probably pick up in 10 days or so, once teams start to sort out their needs for their Opening Day rosters.
- Angels GM Jerry Dipoto has had at least two face-to-face meetings since Monday with Erick Aybar's representatives, reports Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles. Aybar is believed to be looking for an extension of at least five years. Dipoto recently said that he thought an extension with Aybar was possible, if not necessarily by Opening Day.
- The Padres were discussing a one-year, $9MM contract with Francisco Rodriguez over the winter before the club saw an opportunity to acquire Huston Street, reports Scott Miller of CBS Sports. San Diego also talked to free agent Frank Francisco and asked the Athletics about Andrew Bailey.
- The Royals' extension with Alcides Escobar is the team's latest step in locking up its young talent, reports MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. "[Owners] Dan and David Glass are determined to keep as many of these young players together as we can, knowing full well that it has to fit within our salary structure and our payroll going forward," Moore said. "It's going to get a little sticky for us, it's going to get a little hairy as we get into 2014-15-16." Moore declined to comment on the progress of contract talks with another of Kansas City's young stars, Alex Gordon.
- The well-traveled Octavio Dotel shares some of his road stories with ESPN's Jayson Stark. Dotel will set a new Major League record once he plays his first game for the Tigers this season by becoming the first player to suit up for 13 different teams.
- "I feel comfortable we finally got to a level [where we] can be competitive every single year," Tigers owner Mike Ilitch told media (including MLB.com's Jason Beck) during a visit to Spring Training today. "That's always been my goal. I feel good about that. It would be hard to screw that up once you get there. You tell yourself you want to stay there now."
- The Orioles could be looking for backup catching help if Taylor Teagarden's back injury lingers into the season, reports CSN Baltimore's Rich Dubroff. Veteran Ronny Paulino is Matt Wieters' backup for now, but Paulino only just arrived in camp due to a visa issue.
- "It’s strictly a money thing," said Lance Berkman to reporters (including Derrick Goold of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com) when asked about Roy Oswalt (Twitter links). "The Cardinals [offer] ... wasn’t enough to lure him out of Mississippi ... I think he feels like that he can get the same money in half a season as he could in a full season and he’s probably right."
- "He's under control this year and next year, and we're in the monitoring stage for obvious reasons," said Giants GM Brian Sabean to Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle when asked about the future of Brian Wilson. "We're still in the wait-and-see period." Wilson can become a free agent after 2013.
Octavio Dotel will become the first player in MLB history to play for 13 teams when he appears in his first game with the Tigers, as Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press writes. Matt Stairs, Mike Morgan and Ron Villone currently share the record with Dotel, who hopes to retire a Tiger.
- Commissioner Bud Selig spoke about an international draft in this piece by Josh Leventhal of Baseball America. "We'll watch the situation carefully and make the right decision," said Selig. "I can't say [when a draft would be put in place]. We want to see how [the process] works out."
- ESPN's Keith Law published his first list of the top 50 prospects in this year's draft (Insider req'd). High school outfielder Byron Buxton topped list, following by high school righty Lucas Giolito and Stanford righty Mark Appel.
A round-up of news from around the majors....
- The Mariners will be hard-pressed to contend with AL West superpowers like the Rangers and Angels, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times argues the club shouldn't think about trading Felix Hernandez. Stone thinks such a deal would cause a "backlash" among M's fans and "there's still plenty of time to consider a Hernandez trade down the road if the Mariners' situation gets more dire."
- Michael Cuddyer was frustrated by the negativity surrounding the Twins last season and isn't sure if the team will be able to contend in the near future, reports Phil Mackey of ESPN 1500 Radio. The Twins have had a three-year, $24-$25MM offer on the table to Cuddyer for the last few days and the Rockies may also be willing to go to three years for the veteran. Mackey speculates the Cardinals could check in on Cuddyer to help fill the void left by Albert Pujols.
- Octavio Dotel tells MLB.com's Jason Beck that his choice of teams came down to the Tigers and the Brewers. Dotel says the Padres were also interested in signing him as a setup man.
- MLB.com's Todd Zolecki has contract details for a number of new Phillies, most notably Jonathan Papelbon.
- Carlos Beltran hasn't gotten much attention this winter, and Fangraphs' Eric Seidman names seven teams who could be a fit for the free agent outfielder.
- Nick Punto is "at or near [the] top" of the Braves' list of backup infield options, reports David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter).
- A rival executive tells FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi (Twitter link) that the Mets won't trade David Wright. "He’s more valuable to them than he would be to any other team," the exec says.
The Tigers announced an agreement with reliever Octavio Dotel on a one-year contract, plus a club option for 2013. According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, Dotel will earn $3MM in 2012 and the club option is worth $3.5MM (with a $500K buyout). Dotel is represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Dotel, 38, posted a 3.50 ERA, 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9, and 30.1% groundball rate for the Blue Jays and Cardinals this year. The Cardinals chose a $750K buyout over his $3.5MM club option after the season. Dotel is known for his dominance against right-handed hitters and struggles against left-handed ones. In November as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, Dotel was changed from a Type A free agent to Type B, and it was decided that the Cardinals would not have to offer him arbitration to receive a supplemental draft pick as compensation.
10:31pm: All that's left for Dotel and the Tigers to work out is the length of the contract, tweets Rosenthal. A one-year deal with a vesting option seems like the most likely outcome, Rosenthal adds.
8:37pm: The Tigers are close to a deal with Dotel, tweets Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
6:22pm: The Cardinals are the other team Dotel is considering. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Detroit seems to have the edge, but Dotel remains "enamored" with the Cardinals.
5:35pm: The Tigers have made an "aggressive" offer for Dotel, tweets Morosi.
4:44pm: The Tigers are considered the favorite for Dotel, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, adding that the other finalist is a National League team.
The latest on the Mets's search for bullpen help, with the newest updates on top...
- Rauch and the Mets had "good talks" today and are making progress, tweets Rubin.
- The Mets have a list of about 11 attainable relievers, says Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. Rubin adds Octavio Dotel and Jason Isringhausen to the names mentioned below.
- Jose Reyes' agent met with the Mets about other clients such as Endy Chavez, Cesar Izturis, and Ronny Cedeno, which was described as "a little awkward."
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post is getting a strong feeling the Mets are closing in on a late-inning relief type, other than Francisco Cordero. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News hears the same, and says to think Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, and Brad Lidge types. Martino thinks a deal could happen tonight. Alderson told reporters the Mets are more likely to sign two lesser-priced relievers than one expensive guy.
- The Mets will probably send someone to see Joel Zumaya throw next week, tweets Sherman.
- Alderson will meet with Scott Boras today, though he told reporters Francisco Rodriguez is unlikely.
- The Mets' five or so top prospects will not be traded, Alderson told reporters including Rubin.
- The Mets have interest in bringing 40-year-old righty Miguel Batista back, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
5:43pm: MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez adds the Reds to the list of teams who are interested in Dotel, noting that the righty's representatives have met with the Tigers and Brewers already.
10:44am: The Cardinals and Brewers are very interested in Octavio Dotel, the 38-year-old reliever told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles (link in Spanish). Dotel confirmed the Tigers and Mets are also interested. Dotel hopes to return to the Cardinals, and has a one-year offer in hand from them. Dotel told Rojas he'd like to get two years, or at least one year at an adequate salary (thanks to Nick Collias for translating).
- The Cardinals offered Pujols a nine-year, $198MM extension in January, confirmed Goold. Though this would be the third-largest contract in baseball history, the average annual value of $22MM would have the game's best hitter outside of the all-time top ten. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak wouldn't comment on whether the January offer still stands.
- Mozeliak explained his Pujols timeline to Goold: "I don't feel like right now everything outside of Albert's situation is urgent. That said, the one takeaway we have to have in the next couple weeks is what is the likelihood of us getting something done (with Pujols). I think directionally, that's what we're looking for as we move into the winter meetings and toward (the holidays)."
- One pressing factor might be the division-rival Cubs, who have "serious interest" in Pujols according to a Goold source, yet the talks so far have been preliminary. Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported that the Cubs are showing interest in Pujols and Prince Fielder. Goold says Pujols has indicated a desire to meet face-to-face with any legitimately interested party, so perhaps a sit-down will occur with the Cubs soon.
- Octavio Dotel's agent Dan Horwits told Goold, "Dotel would like to be a Cardinal. Obviously, the Cardinals have some other contracts to address first, and we understand that." This week the Mets, Reds, Tigers, and Angels have been named as other suitors for the 38-year-old righty.
- J.C. Romero's agent Melvin Roman told Goold he has heard from the Cardinals and expects to have a discussion at the Winter Meetings. The 35-year-old southpaw is open to a one-year deal after allowing 44 baserunners in 24 2/3 big league innings this year. In September, Romero said his first choice was to return to the Rockies.
- Mozeliak commented on his team's shortstop situation to Goold: "If we had to wake up and give Tyler Greene an opportunity (at shortstop) we would be comfortable with that." The Cardinals have an internal debate about whether to give Greene the job, Mozeliak told B.J. Rains of FOXSportsMidwest.com. Rafael Furcal is willing to wait on the Pujols negotiations to a point, though you have to think he'll pounce if a strong three-year offer comes along from another team. Goold believes Jimmy Rollins could be a possibility for the Cardinals at shortstop if Pujols signs elsewhere.
- Regarding the bullpen, Mozeliak told Rains, "There may be some things that we look at in January to add depth to that but I don't think we see anything short term on that now."
- Rains also learned that Bryan Anderson and Tony Cruz will compete for the Cardinals' backup catcher job, and the team has interest in retaining free agent infielder Nick Punto.
TUESDAY: The Mets are "strong players" for Dotel, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. The Mets, who signed Dotel as an amateur in 1993, like that he won't cost a draft pick.
MONDAY: The Cardinals, Reds and Tigers are among the teams that have inquired on free agent right-hander Octavio Dotel, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Teams won’t have to surrender a draft pick to sign Dotel, but the Cardinals will obtain a supplementary first round draft choice in 2012 if he signs elsewhere thanks to a recently-announced status change for certain free agents.
Dotel, 38, posted a 3.50 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 30.1% ground ball rate in 54 innings for the Blue Jays and Cardinals in 2011. He's especially effective against right-handed hitters, as this past season's split stats show (.410 OPS vs. RHB, .845 OPS vs. LHB). The Angels also have some interest in Dotel.