Octavio Dotel Rumors
A right elbow injury limited right-hander Octavio Dotel to just 4 2/3 innings with the Tigers this season, but despite the fact that he will turn 40 in November, the veteran reliever isn't ready to hang it up. MLB.com's Bobby Nightengale writes that Dotel would like to return for a 16th Major League season in 2014.
Dotel met with Dr. James Andrews and received a platelet-rich plasma injection as well as a rehab schedule. Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand elaborated on Dotel's potential schedule:
"He wants to avoid surgery, obviously, and was told to rest basically for four-to-six weeks, I believe, before doing any kind of exercises and will start doing shoulder exercises after that. He won't do any elbow exercises until two months."
Dotel's 2013 season was forgettable at best, as he allowed seven runs on 10 hits and four walks in those 4 2/3 innings, but prior to that he showed that he can still be plenty effective in his late 30s. In 2011-12, Dotel compiled a 3.54 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 112 innings between the Blue Jays, Cardinals and Tigers.
The veteran has played for a record 13 Major League teams throughout his lengthy career. As a free agent at season's end, if Dotel is able to work his way back to the big leagues in 2014, he could extend that record further. Of course, he'd likely have to prove himself on a minor league deal in Spring Training to do so, regardless of where he signs. Nightengale notes that any surgery with a lengthy reab would likely mean the end of what has been a solid big league career for Dotel.
The Pirates' acquisition of Justin Morneau is rated by Scott Miller of CBSSports.com as the August waiver trade with the highest "Cody Ross potential." Ross, of course, was an unheralded pickup in August 2010 who ended up paying huge dividends in the Giants' World Series victory that season. Here are some more items from around the majors...
- Though Evan Gattis' storybook rookie season has been slowed by injuries and slumps, David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution still doesn't think the Braves will push to re-sign Brian McCann this winter. Since the Braves won't be able to transition McCann from catcher to DH as he ages, O'Brien figures that an AL team who can offer this luxury will outbid Atlanta for McCann's services. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes ranked McCann third the last edition of his 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings, though McCann's bat has cooled off (.674 OPS in 89 PA) in August.
- There is a "99.9%" chance that Octavio Dotel will be shut down for the season, Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters, including Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Dotel hasn't pitched since April 19 due to an elbow injury and he has experienced forearm tightness during his minor league rehab assignment. Since Dotel turns 40 in November, it has been speculated that this injury could mark the end of Dotel's career, though Leyland said he wasn't aware of the veteran reliever's future plans.
- The Yankees have "heavily scouted" Masahiro Tanaka, sending scouts to see many of Tanaka's starts for Rakuten, Mark Hale and George A. King III of the New York Post report. Assistant GM Billy Eppler and special assignment scout Don Wakamatsu were in Japan last week for one of Tanaka's outings. The Yankees and Rangers could be the favorites to make the highest posting bid for Tanaka should Rakuten make him available this offseason, though the Giants, Red Sox, Athletics and Twins are also known to be interested in the right-hander.
- Fangraphs' Wendy Thurm explores when the Astros will start to raise their payroll by comparing the club's major payroll cuts to other teams who have slashed salaries in recent years.
- With Alex Rodriguez facing a possible season-long suspension in 2014 and Mark Reynolds and Kevin Youkilis both question marks, ESPN's Jim Bowden (Insider subscription required) looks at some long-, medium- and short-term third base answers that the Yankees could acquire from another team.
- The Twins should move Joe Mauer to first base next season and rely on either rookie Josmil Pinto to play catcher or sign A.J. Pierzynski, Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune opines. Pierzynski, who spent his first six seasons in Minnesota, would also provide the Twins with some needed grit and leadership, Souhan adds. Pierzynski will hit the free agent market again this winter and one would think he'd prefer to play for a contender at this late stage in his career. He's hitting .283/.309/.452 with 16 homers in 424 PA with the Rangers this season so he'll certainly have a market for his services.
Earl Webb's Major League record of 67 doubles in a season has stood since 1931 but Orioles phenom Manny Machado could be putting that mark in jeopardy. Machado now has 30 doubles through 68 Baltimore games after collecting a pair of two-baggers in Friday's 2-0 win over the Red Sox. Only five 21st century players have come within even 11 doubles of Webb's record, one of whom was Machado's teammate Brian Roberts, who hit 56 doubles in 2009.
Here's the latest from around the baseball world...
- Yadier Molina's value to the Cardinals is immeasurable, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler writes, and for a team that has been comfortable letting many key figures go in recent years, the Cards made a point to lock their catcher up to a five-year, $75MM extension in March 2012. "[Owner Bill DeWitt and I] talked about players who were coming up on free agency, and we'd ask how do you replace them. He and I always felt that [Molina] was the one where we had no answer," Cards GM John Mozeliak said. "It was imperative that we kept him."
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels is waiting to see how his team performs over the next few weeks before determining what possible upgrades are needed at the trade deadline, Daniels said during an appearance on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's Fitzsimmons and Durrett Show (passed on by ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett). Daniels also noted that the club may keep Jurickson Profar on the Major League roster even after Ian Kinsler is back from the DL, and that Profar could get some outfield time if he is in fact sent back to Triple-A.
- ESPN Insider's Jim Bowden lists 20 pitchers he feels could be traded this summer.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer felt Kris Bryant was "the best player on the board" when Chicago had the second overall pick in the draft, though Hoyer tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that pitching "is an organizational weakness....I don’t think it affects our timing, but it does mean that pitching will be an emphasis in future drafts and any kind of trades we might make, and in free agency.”
- The Yankees' makeshift lineup has remained in contention but ratings on the YES Network are down 38% from last season, leading Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal to speculate if the Bombers may feel obligated to acquire star players in order to maximize fan and business interest.
- Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel's elbow injury could endanger his season, and since Dotel is 39, MLB.com's Jason Beck wonders if the veteran's career could also be threatened.
- Andre Ethier isn't letting trade speculation bother him since "it's nothing you can have a say about except to go out there and play hard," he tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Ethier could be expendable in the Dodgers outfield once Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp return from injury, given Yasiel Puig's emergence.
- Baseball America's staff checks in on the progress of the 2012 first round draft picks.
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.