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.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.