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.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.