On December 23rd, I reported that the Pirates had made a $3 million offer to Octavio Dotel to be their closer. The team denied it. Today, however, Dejan Kovacevic says that “Dotel is one of several relievers the team has offered a contract,” and that they have “zeroed in” on him. He notes that that Dotel won’t make what he made last year, but last year he made $6 million.
Gee, I wonder if it was at all possible that my source was telling me the truth and the Pirates were being less than candid in their denial. Ah, forget it. The Pirates always tell the truth.
Anyway, whether the offer came in December or this morning, based on Kovacevic’s report, it looks like Dotel is going to be the closer in Pittsburgh this year.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.