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Anthony Bass set to make MLB return with Rangers

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Free agent right-handed reliever Anthony Bass is headed back to the majors, according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Bass reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers on Friday night, though the team has yet to confirm the contract. He was rumored to be in talks with the Orioles and Tigers this offseason, among several other unidentified clubs.

Bass, 29, last set foot on a major league mound in 2015, when he tossed one season out of the Rangers’ bullpen. He signed with the Mariners prior to the 2016 season, but was released in early January to pursue an overseas opportunity with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball.

During his lone season with the Ham Fighters, Bass took on a dual role in the rotation and bullpen and delivered a 3.65 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.2 SO/9 over 103 2/3 innings. It’s pretty close to the career line he developed in five years at the major league level: a 4.40 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through multiple stints with the Padres, Astros and Rangers. As he heads back to Texas, Bass could seek another opportunity in the starting rotation, writes MLB.com’s Jason Beck, though he’ll need to get a leg up on right-handed candidates Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, A.J. Griffin, Dillon Gee, Tyler Wagner and Nick Martinez first.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.

That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.

Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.

Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.