The Mets have discussed relievers Octavio Dotel and Scott Downs, report Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. John Harper of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets scouted Downs and Kevin Gregg over the weekend. The Mets agreed to terms with free agent reliever Chad Cordero earlier today.
The FOX writers say the Mets are now more focused on relievers than starters. While they maintain interest in Ted Lilly, they've cooled on Jake Westbrook, Ben Sheets, and Brett Myers. Speaking of Myers, ESPN's Adam Rubin learned that the Mets and Astros have had very little conversation.
Dotel came up through the Mets' system more than a decade ago and was traded in December of '99 to the Astros with Kyle Kessel and Roger Cedeno for Derek Bell and Mike Hampton. That deal was engineered by Steve Phillips and Gerry Hunsicker back when Dotel was a starter. If Hunsicker had been able to give the Yankees a window to negotiate with Hampton before his walk year, imagine how New York baseball history would've been altered.
This year as the Pirates' closer Dotel sports a 4.62 ERA, 10.9 K/9, and 4.1 BB/9 in 37 innings, with five home runs allowed and 20 saves in 25 attempts. He has a 2.60 ERA since May 4th. Still, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick implies, Dotel's stats suggest he should be a righty specialist. By the way, Dotel's 2011 club option becomes mutual if he's traded.
Morosi noted on Twitter last night that the Pirates are also getting calls on Joel Hanrahan, "but the price remains very high." Armed with a 95.6 mph fastball, Hanrahan has 56 strikeouts in 40.6 innings. His 12.39 K/9 ranks behind only Carlos Marmol, Billy Wagner, and Brian Wilson in the National League.