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|Subject: Tigers interested in Dotel, but for what role? Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:02 pm|| |
Tigers interested in Dotel, but for what role?BECK'S BLOG
Posted on November 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm
Octavio Dotel has made 695 appearances and pitched 888 1/3 innings in his 13-year Major League career. He has pitched the seventh inning in 162 of those games, according to baseball-reference.com, including 86 games over the past four seasons. If heís going to pitch in a Tigers uniform, heís going to have to get used to that kind of work.
Thatís a decision Dotel might have to make, and heíll likely have a few choices.
The Tigers have indeed had discussions about Dotel. So have the Mets and Cardinals, according to MLB.comís Anthony DiComo, and the Reds, according to FOXSports.comís Jon Paul Morosi, who first tweeted about the Tigersí interest.
While the other three teams have uncertainty at closer, the Tigers have theirs with Jose Valverde, who hasnít blown a save since Sept. 2010. Detroit also has its eighth-inning setup man with Joaquin Benoit, one of the stingiest relievers in the American League over the last two years.
The fact that the Tigers have shown interest in Dotel should sound familiar. Theyíve been tied together in rumors ever since 2007, when the Tigers were looking for relief help at the Trade Deadline. They had rumors the last few years when Dotel has been on the market, but nothing has ever come out of it, and Dotel has always landed elsewhere. He has been a closer and setup man all over the place ó Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Colorado, Toronto and St. Louis in the last five seasons alone ó but now he could be courted more for depth.
When Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about his bullpen at seasonís end, he left open the possibility that they could add a veteran reliever to help bridge the gap between their rotation and the Benoit/Valverde duo. Itís not exactly glamour work, but itís a regular gig on a club with a chance to win. But then, the defending world champion Cardinals and Reds have that chance to contend, too.
This early in the process, itís unlikely that the Tigers have discussed roles with relievers such as Dotel. Still, it doesnít take much of a look to realize how the Tigers bullpen shakes out. Valverde is entering the lone option year on his contract, putting him in line for free agency next winter. But Dotelís last two contracts have been one year and an option, which has been declined, which in part explains why he has bounced around. The Cards turned down Dotelís $3.5 million option last month.
Having just turned 38, Dotel can go year to year and look for the best situation. The question now is where the Tigers rank, and how interested they are.
ďIt takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.Ē † †