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.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.