Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports that the Angels have been in “constant contact” with the Giants regarding lefty relievers Will Smith and Tony Watson. Baggarly notes that the Angels were runners-up for Zach Britton, who signed with the Yankees over the weekend.
Smith, 29, is entering his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $4.1 million in 2019 before he becomes eligible for free agency. This past season, he worked 53 innings to the tune of a 2.55 ERA and a 71/15 K/BB ratio. Notably, Smith wasn’t just a matchup reliever — he faced right-handed batters 138 times and limited them to a .582 OPS.
Watson, 33, is under contract through at least the end of the season, earning $3.5 million. He has a player option for 2020 worth $2.5 million with a $500,000 buyout. This past season, Watson posted a 2.59 ERA with a 72/12 K/BB ratio in 66 innings of work. He tended to face more lefties, as they accounted for roughly 42 percent of batters faced. However, Watson still held righties to a .621 OPS.
At the moment, the only lefty in the Angels’ bullpen is Williams Jerez, so adding one or both of Smith and Watson would be a big boost.
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.