Tigers finalize one-year, $3.5 million deal with Octavio Dotel

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Detroit and Octavio Dotel made their deal official, with the Tigers paying the veteran right-hander $3 million in 2012 and $3.5 million or a $500,000 buyout for 2013.

This will be his 13th team in 14 seasons, but Dotel remains a very effective reliever at age 38 and is particularly dominant against right-handed hitters, throwing 54 innings with a 3.50 ERA and 62/17 K/BB ratio while earning $3.5 million in 2011.

Dotel has the highest strikeout rate of all time among right-handers with 800-plus innings and even at age 37 got more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings for the fifth straight season.  He joins Joaquin Benoit and Al Alburquerque as right-handed setup men for closer Jose Valverde, and the Tigers also have Phil Coke and Daniel Schlereth from the left side.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Dotel chose the Tigers over the Brewers, with the Padres also in the mix.

Giants nearing deal with Cameron Maybin

Cameron Maybin
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The Giants are finalizing a minor league deal for free agent outfielder Cameron Maybin, according to Andrew Baggarly and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The team has not confirmed the signing, but it’s in keeping with their stated goal of adding more veteran presence and outfield options to their roster in advance of the 2019 season.

Maybin, 31, appeared in back-to-back gigs with the Marlins and Mariners in 2018. He slashed an underwhelming .249/.326/.336 with four home runs, 10 stolen bases (in 15 chances), a .662 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR through 384 plate appearances for the two clubs, a clear improvement over his totals in 2017 but still shy of the career numbers he posted with the Padres all the way back in 2011. It’s not only his offense that has tanked, but his speed and defense in center field, all of which he’ll try to improve as he jockeys for a roster spot in camp this month.

The Giants’ outfield has been largely depleted of any kind of consistent talent lately, especially taking into account the recent departures of Hunter Pence, Gregor Blanco, and Gorkys Hernández. Even with the acquisition of, say, All-Star right fielder Bryce Harper, there’s nothing standing in the way of Maybin and fellow veteran signee Gerardo Parra grabbing hold of full- or part-time roles this year, though they’ll need to outperform candidates like Chris Shaw, Steven Duggar, Drew Ferguson, Mac Williamson, Austin Slater, Craig Gentry, Mike Gerber, and others first.

In a previous report on Friday, Baggarly revealed that a “handshake understanding” had been established with several veteran players already this offseason, all but guaranteeing them regular starting opportunities over the course of the season. How those agreements will be affected by spring training performances remains to be seen, but at least for now, the Giants appear prepared to give their newest players a long leash as they try to get back on top in the NL West.