According to Dejan Kovacevic, the Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a one year deal with relief pitcher Octavio Dotel, with the deal also including a club option for the 2011 season. The agreement is pending the results of a physical, which will take place tomorrow. Dotel could be officially signed by tomorrow afternoon.
Kovacevic reports that Dotel chose the Pirates over two other teams for the opportunity to close. Dotel’s last experience as a closer came in 2007 when took over as Kansas City’s closer mid-season. He saved 11 games with three blown saves from the start of June to the end of July, then was traded to Atlanta at the trade deadline, at which point Joakim Soria took over. In 2004, Dotel was the closer for Houston to start the year, saving 14 of 17 chances. He was traded to Oakland that June in a deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros, and Mark Teahen, Mike Wood, and John Buck to the Kansas City Royals. Dotel went 22 for 28 the rest of the season as Oakland’s closer, then went 7 for 11 to start the 2005 season before going down with an injury.
The 40-man roster is currently full, which means a spot would have to be opened once Dotel is signed. There have been talks of a trade in the works. That trade could include recently claimed outfielder Brandon Jones. It also could include Steven Jackson, who was recently designated for assignment. A two for one deal with Jones and Jackson for a guy not on the 40-man roster would clear a spot. If a trade can’t be reached, the Pirates will have to designate a player for assignment to clear space.
No financial terms have been released yet, although I will update the 40-man roster when that information is available.