According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com the Rays, Pirates, and Blue Jays are among the teams interested in free agent reliever Octavio Dotel.
Pittsburgh being in the mix is interesting, because the Pirates signed Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million deal as a free agent last offseason and then traded him to the Dodgers on July 31 for James McDonald and Andrew Lambo. That was a pretty great return, so perhaps general manager Neal Huntington wants to give it a try again.
Dotel is 37 years old, sometimes struggles to keep the ball in the ballpark, and has lost a bit of velocity in recent years, but he still averaged 92 miles per hour with his fastball in 2010 and racked up 75 strikeouts in just 64 innings. He’s never averaged fewer than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in a full relief season.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.