UPDATE: Dejan is now reporting that a Pirates source has refuted that any offer has been made to Dotel. Of course, the Pirates also said on the record — multiple times — that they were tendering Matt Capps a contract, and they didn’t do that. They also said they weren’t going to pay a reliever $3 million, but Dejan reports that they made a last ditch offer to Capps of “close to $3 million” before Capps signed with the Nats last night. They have also, just recently, changed course with free agent candidates based on what was reported in the media, so forgive me if I’m less than 100% cowed by the denial.
But assuming Dejan is right, however — and it’s a fair assumption given that he’s the most plugged-in guy in Pittsburgh — I’m not sure how I could have possibly been wrong yesterday. My source is gold! He’s the same guy who told me that Dewey beat Truman and that all that yellowcake uranium was floating around Baghdad!
2:25 P.M.: A source tells me that the Pirates have made an offer to Octavio Dotel to be their closer. The offer: $3 million plus games-finished incentives. Not a deal yet or anything, but it’s out there.
Dotel has turned in back-to-back healthy seasons since coming back from
Tommy John surgery, and he continues to post excellent strikeout
numbers. Still, surprising that he’s being looked at as a closer. Then again, these are the Pirates.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.