Octavio Dotel Rumors
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.
The Angels are one of five or five teams with "serious interest" in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times. DiGiovanna notes that earlier this month Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described his interest level in Ramirez as "lower, but I never close the door on anyone."
Ramirez is open to playing on the West Coast, Kinzer told DiGiovanna. With full no-trade rights this summer, Ramirez was not so flexible. DiGiovanna believes Ramirez could make a decision on his new team at next week's Winter Meetings. On November 14th, Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports Ramirez seeks a four-year deal or three years with an option.
The Angels are interested in relievers Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Linebrink, adds DiGiovanna. They're also very interested in starter C.J. Wilson, who's touring the country meeting with suitors.
10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline. For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.
Updated team decisions:
- The Giants won't offer arbitration to Pat Burrell (B) or Cody Ross (B) according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Carlos Beltran (A) contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Dodgers declined to offer Hiroki Kuroda (B) arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times (on Twitter). Rod Barajas (B) already signed with the Pirates.
- The Pirates offered arbitration to Derrek Lee (B) while declining to offer Ryan Ludwick (B) and Chris Snyder (B) arbitration. Ryan Doumit (B) already signed with the Twins.
- The Phillies did not offer Roy Oswalt (A) or Brad Lidge (B) arbitration, according to the AP (via ESPN). The team announced that it offered arbitration to Raul Ibanez (B), Ryan Madson (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick), and Jimmy Rollins (A), according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Cubs offered arbitration to Carlos Pena (B) and Aramis Ramirez (B) but not to Kerry Wood (B), according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Cardinals offered Edwin Jackson (B) and Albert Pujols (A) arbitration, but declined to make offers to Rafael Furcal (B) and Arthur Rhodes (B), according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). That leaves Octavio Dotel (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary).
- The Mets offered Jose Reyes (A) arbitration, according to Newsday's Ken Davidoff (on Twitter).
- The Padres will offer arbitration to Heath Bell (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) and Aaron Harang (B), tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com.
- The Brewers offered Prince Fielder (A) and Francisco Rodriguez (A, will not cost signing team a draft pick) arbitration. They declined to offer Yuniesky Betancourt (B) arbitration. Takashi Saito (A), contractually cannot be offered arbitration.
- The Braves did not offer arbitration to Alex Gonzalez (B), according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Teams with automatic decisions only:
- Reds: Francisco Cordero (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary), Ramon Hernandez (modified B, no arbitration offer necessary)
- Astros: Clint Barmes (B, already signed with Pirates)
- Rockies: Mark Ellis (B, already signed with Dodgers)
Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver were all Type A free agents under the Elias Rankings system, but they will now be treated as Type B free agents, the MLBPA announced. Teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign them, but the players' former teams obtain a supplementary first round pick whether or not they offer arbitration tomorrow.
Meanwhile, clubs won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign one of the following six players: Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez. Teams that lose these players after offering arbitration will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team plus a supplementary draft pick for a total of two selections.
Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins were also Type A free agents this offseason. They will cost one draft pick to sign. Their teams will obtain two total picks if they decline offers of arbitration to sign elsewhere, as expected. Takashi Saito and Carlos Beltran, two other Type As, cannot be offered arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the changes.
3:42pm: There are eight teams chasing Furcal, four of them want Furcal at second base and four are interested in him at shortstop, agent Paul Kinzer told Jim Bowden (via Twitter) on MLB Network Radio.
3:01pm: Interest in Furcal is heavy enough that the veteran should be able to get a deal to play shortstop, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The Tigers, Blue Jays, and Rockies all like him at second base.
9:19am: Rafael Furcal's agent Paul Kinzer is believed to be seeking a three-year deal, reports Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, with two years and an option a possibility. The Padres aren't inclined to guarantee multiple years to Furcal, and Kinzer indicated yesterday he's open to a shorter term for a higher average annual value. Furcal did just that six years ago, taking a three-year, $39MM deal from the Dodgers when a longer term was available.
The idea of a multiyear free agent deal for Furcal at the time of his July 31st trade to St. Louis was laughable, given his health issues. 217 decent plate appearances for the Cards may have changed that, in the same way that a short stint after a trade earned Aaron Hill a two-year, $11MM contract. The Brewers have some level of interest in Furcal for their shortstop opening, and the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays checked in on him as a second baseman. Regarding Kinzer meeting with the Brewers, Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said, "I'm not going to base our reaction on rumors or innuendo. But if I woke up tomorrow and he was signed I'd be a little disappointed."
Aside the situations with Furcal and Albert Pujols, Strauss says the Cardinals will look into bringing back relievers Octavio Dotel and Arthur Rhodes. The Cardinals are "apparently willing to exploit" their depth in right-handed relievers.
It's been a busy first day of the GM meetings, but we don't want to let anything fall through the cracks. Here's a collection of assorted links from throughout the day:
- The Reds don't intend to make Brandon Phillips available in a trade, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers confirms a rumor we'd heard about previously, telling MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that his team has interest in Hiroki Kuroda.
- The Red Sox aren't the only team meeting with David Ortiz's agent tonight. Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets that the Orioles will also meet with Fern Cuza, and could be interested in Ortiz as well. GM Dan Duquette noted that Cuza also represents Vladimir Guerrero, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com.
- Former Angels pitching coach Marcel Lachemann has rejoined the team as an assistant to new GM Jerry Dipoto, says Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Earlier this week, we heard the Angels were eyeing right-handed relief help. DiGiovanna has more details on their search, naming Octavio Dotel, Todd Coffey, and Matt Capps as some possible targets.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer will explore the possibility of bringing back Kerry Wood, says MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.
- At U.S.S. Mariner, Dave Cameron explains why he doesn't think the Mariners should open their wallets to sign Prince Fielder.
- Craig Counsell is open to both playing and "non-playing" offers, tweets Tom Haudicourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Counsell isn't necessarily leaning toward retirement, but would seriously consider it for the right non-playing opportunity.
The Cardinals declined their options for Octavio Dotel and Rafael Furcal, according to the Associated Press (via Sports Illustrated). The Cardinals will pay Dotel a $750K buyout instead of a $3.5MM salary and they'll pay Furcal a $1.3MM buyout instead of a $12MM salary.
Dotel, 37, arrived in St. Louis along with Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Jackson in the trade that sent Colby Rasmus to Toronto. In 54 total innings for the Cardinals and Blue Jays, Dotel posted a 3.50 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 30.1% ground ball rate. MLBTR reported today that Dotel is a Type A free agent.
Furcal, a Type B free agent, hit .231/.298/.348 in 369 plate appearances for the Dodgers and Cardinals in 2011, spending time on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. The 34-year-old shortstop started discussing an extension in September, but didn't reach an agreement.
With Game 2 about to begin, let's look at some news about the team that is three wins away from its 11th World Series title...
- How would winning or losing the Series impact Albert Pujols' free agent decision? FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi explores the question in this YouTube video.
- Octavio Dotel told reporters, including Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link), that he would like to return to St. Louis next season. Though Dotel could set a record by joining his 13th different franchise this winter, it's probably no surprise that he wants to settle down. The Cardinals have a $3.5MM team option on Dotel for next season that can be bought out for $750K. Dotel may be more valuable to the Cards on the open market given that he projects as a Type A free agent.
- Adam Wainwright tried to convince the Cardinals into activating him for the postseason, a request that was emphatically denied, reports R.B. Fallstrom of the Associated Press. Wainwright underwent Tommy John surgery in February and missed the entire season, though St. Louis GM John Mozeliak recently said that the team plans to pick up Wainwright's $21MM option for 2012-13, barring any medical setbacks.