Octavio Dotel’s next contract figures to make some wonder why the Cardinals didn’t just exercise their $3.5 million option.
According to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez, the Brewers, Cardinals, Mets, Reds and Tigers have all inquired about the free agent reliever. Dotel’s reps have already met with the Brewers and Tigers.
Dotel, 37, had a 3.50 ERA in 54 innings for the Blue Jays and Cardinals last season. He turned into one of Tony La Russa’s favorite relievers in the postseason, appearing in 12 games and amassing a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings.
The Brewers have a need for a right-handed setup man with Francisco Rodriguez, Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins all filing for free agency the winter. The Tigers are also looking for help after their younger relievers struggled mightily in the postseason, leaving Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit and lefty Phil Coke as the team’s only reliable options. The Mets and Reds might be more interesting destinations for Dotel, though, as they could offer him the chance to add to his total of 108 career saves.
The Oakland Athletics ballpark saga has dragged on for years and years and years. They’ve considered San Jose, Fremont and at least three locations in Oakland as potential new ballpark sites. The whole process has lasted almost as long as the Braves and Rangers played in their old parks before building new ones.
In the past several months the Athletics’ “stay in Oakland” plan has gained momentum. At one point the club thought it had an agreement to build a new place near Peralta/Laney College in downtown Oakland. There have been hiccups with that, so two other sites — Howard Terminal, favored by city officials — and the current Oakland Coliseum site have remained in play. There are pros and cons to each of these sites, as we have discussed in the past.
One consideration not mentioned before was mentioned by team president David Kaval yesterday: sea level rise due to climate change. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Kaval mentioned twice that the Howard Terminal site would have to take into account sea-level rise and transportation concerns — and he said there have been conversations with the city and county and the Joint Powers Authority about developing the Coliseum site.
The Howard Terminal/Jack London Square area of Oakland has been identified as susceptible to dramatically increased flooding as a result of projected sea level rise due to climate change. On the other side of the bay both the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors have had to consider sea level rise in their stadium/arena development plans. Now it’s the Athletics’ turn.
Sports teams are not alone in this. Multiple governmental organizations, utilities and private businesses have already made contingency plans, or are at least discussing contingency plans, to deal with this reality. Indeed, beyond the Bay Area, private businesses, public companies, insurance companies and even the U.S. military are increasingly citing climate change and sea level rise in various reports and disclosures of future risks and challenges. Even the Trump Organization has cited it as a risk . . . for its golf courses.
Fifteen of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams play in coastal areas and another five of them play near the Great Lakes. While some of our politicians don’t seem terribly concerned about it all, people and organizations who will have skin the game 10, 20 and 50 years from now, like the Oakland Athletics, are taking it into account.