The Pittsburgh Pirates and Octavio Dotel have come to terms on a one year deal with a club option. Specific terms around bonus and base pay have not yet been revealed. Dotel is scheduled for a physical on Thursday prior to putting pen to paper. The formal announcement should come shortly after the physical.
A roster move needs to be made to open a spot on the 40 man roster.
Finally! In addition to signing with the Pirates, it seems Dotel is also setting up shop in Pittsburgh in another way. His wife is due to give birth at “any time” and may stay in Pittsburgh to deliver the child.
The Pirates were one of the teams at the throwing session Tuesday by Ben Sheets.
Sheets contract desires have come to light as reported via MLB Trade Rumors:
MetsBlog's Matthew Cerrone hears Ben Sheets will seek "at least $10 million, plus lots of incentives, and a second-year, player-controlled option."
Dejan Kovacevic states in the PBC Blog:
The Pirates are not a bidder for Ben Sheets.
They scouted the session as a matter of course in developing information on as many players as possible. Happens all the time.
Common speculation from sources outside the Pirates, the Pirates are looking at Sheets as an option IF MLB and the Players Union target the team in a similar fashion to the way the Marlins were recently reprimanded for not spending revenue sharing money. Adding a $10 M contract to an estimated $40 M payroll would get the teams payroll figures back to the neighborhood of the payroll from 2009, actually exceeding it by a few million.
It would be a shame if the Pirates made a move of this caliber just to appease MLB and the Union. While adding Sheets would be a good move for the Pirates, to be forced into such a move would undermine anything the front office has done this off-season.
Sheets is a pitcher who could turn a 71 win team into a .500 ball club, something most Pirates fans have been praying for for nearly 2 decades. Bringing in a pitcher, or any player, of Sheets caliber should be the last move in rebuilding to put the team over the top, not over .500.
One bonus to adding someone like Sheets would be trade value later in the season if he stayed healthy. This is one area I don’t understand in most rebuilding projects in MLB. Teams want to add young talent but won’t sign upper level free agents to bolster the MLB level and allow a trade that would bring in more talent later in the year around the deadline.
To help sell the concept to ownership, signing Sheets in addition to the recent buzz the Pirates have generated would put more butts in the seats early in the season and just add to the butt count when Alvarez and Tabata are brought up. Simply put, Alvarez + Sheets + a run at a winning record = $$$.
Don’t be surprised IF you hear the Pirates linked to Sheets in the coming weeks, especially if reports are correct the Pirates are next on the MLB/MLBPA hit list are true.
An Interesting Link from KC
Kings of Kauffman beg for a deal between KC and Pittsburgh for Brandon Jones.