UPDATE: the Pirates now deny that they have made Octavio Dotel an offer

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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.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.