UPDATE: Tigers near agreement with righty Octavio Dotel

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The Brewers, Mets, Reds and Cardinals have also been involved in negotiations for veteran reliever Octavio Dotel at this week’s Winter Meetings, but it sounds like Detroit might come out on top.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers are currently considered the “front-runner” for Dotel, who is expected to decide on a team soon.

Dotel registered a solid 3.50 ERA in 54 regular-season innings between the Blue Jays and Cardinals this past season before catching fire in the playoffs and helping St. Louis to a World Series title. The 38-year-old still has a hard fastball and is capable of dominating right-handed hitters with his slider and curve.

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Tigers have made an “aggressive” offer to Dotel.

UPDATE II: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says it’s down to the Tigers and Cardinals.

UPDATE III: According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, the Tigers are now “closing in” on a deal.

2017 Preview: The National League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League West.

The Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star Break and the Dodgers lost the best pitcher in the world in Clayton Kershaw for a big chunk of the season. Yet, somehow, L.A. won the NL West by four games. The biggest culprit was the Giants’ suspect bullpen, which they put some real money toward fixing this winter. Is it enough? Or is a a Dodgers team with a healthy Kershaw just too talented for San Francisco to handle?

Below them is an intriguing Rockies team, though probably not a truly good Rockies team. The Dbacks have a lot of assorted talent but are nonetheless in reshuffle mode following a miserable 2016 campaign. The Padres, meanwhile, are in full-fledged rebuilding mode, but do possess some of the best minor league talent in the game.

Here are our previews of the 2017 NL West:

Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies
Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres

2017 Preview: The American League West

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League West

There’s not a lot of separation between the top three teams in this division. Indeed, it would not be a surprise for either the Astros, Rangers or Mariners to end the year on top. Part of that is because none of these contenders are perfect, with all three facing some big challenges in putting together a strong rotation.

Meanwhile, the best baseball player in the universe toils in Anaheim, where he’ll most likely have to content himself to playing spoiler. Up the coast in Oakland . . . um, green is pretty?

Our 2017 AL West Previews:

Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners
Texas Rangers
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Oakland Athletics