Free Agent Rumors: Dotel, Francis, Webb

The Pirates are interested in bringing Dotel back.

The Pirates carry a 41 man roster since Friday, then wait until the day I’m out of town to make their move.  Also while I was gone, there were some rumors on the free agent market:

-The Pirates are interested in bringing back Octavio Dotel, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.  The Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays are also pursuing Dotel.  We heard two weeks ago that the Pirates had inquired on Dotel.  They were able to sign him last year because no other team was willing to give him the closer role.  Toronto and Tampa Bay are two teams that are without a closer, so the same approach might not work this year.  The rumor is interesting, as it suggests that the Pirates could be looking to put Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek in the set up roles again, rather than using one as a closer.

-Jerry Crasnick reports that the Pirates have interest in starting pitcher Jeff Francis.  Crasnick also mentions the Mets, Nationals, Rangers, and Yankees as teams who have shown interest in the former Colorado starter.  This also isn’t really news, as we have heard that the Pirates had interest in Francis before.  If Francis was acquired, he would be put in a battle for the fifth starter role with Scott Olsen, Charlie Morton, Brad Lincoln, and Jeff Karstens, although if the Pirates traded Paul Maholm, that group would be battling for two open rotation spots.

-MLBTR has the latest on Brandon Webb.  The right hander is being pursued by the Rangers and Nationals, while the Cubs pursuit has slowed.  There is also a mystery team from the NL Central expressing late interest.  The Reds and Brewers have been ruled out, which leaves the Cardinals, Astros, and Pirates.  The Pirates have shown an interest in Webb already this off-season, and it’s been reported that the two sides have a mutual interest.  Still, there’s no guarantee that the mystery team is the Pirates.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Lee Young

    I think we still need a valid leadoff guy, like Victorino, Pierre or even David Dejesus.

    • Steve Dimmick

      @ Lee, please edit your Dejesus remark, i have him in my fantasy baseball league and he’s by far the worst selection i made, very frustrating player, no power, little RBI and doesnt steal. I dont know if i could stand him with the Buccos, LOL

    • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

      I agree. Ideally, Presley or Tabata would be that lead off guy – hasn’t panned out.

  • burgh_fan

    I think you are wrong. I think there is one more guy from AAA who could join Marte and help fix this offense. Having a bat like Jeff Clement off the bench could be a big asset to the Pirates down the stretch.

  • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

    I do think the Pirates will make a move for a bat or at least continue to try. I don’t think that they will do it based on the trade for Wandy. There’s a big difference in adding a rookie hitter to your lineup versus adding a rookie pitcher to your starting rotation. If the pitcher fails, the negative impact on the team is far greater. it impacts the bullpen and more directly effects wins and losses. The Pirates were not willing to take that risk at this point in the season. Spot start? Yes. Replacing a current starter? That’s a whole different deal.

  • Stephen Stasa

    The way I see this call-up is that Huntington wasn’t going to bring up Marte until he was sure he wasn’t going to get two OFs. Before getting Rodriguez, they probably felt like they had enough to work with to try for two of the OFs they’ve been scouting (Victorino, Pence, Headley, Willingham, Upton, etc.). As long as that was a possibility, he couldn’t promote Marte. It would either handcuff him or force Marte to go back down if multiple deals (or one deal for multiple players) were reached.

    I think they will add another everyday player as well as a veteran who can help off the bench (the latter possibly being next month), but Huntington is now sure the LF will be available for Marte the rest of the season.

  • John DiVito

    Looking at what Marte is going to bring to the table, he is not going to be that middle of the order type bat that we need so desperately. We need a right fielder with power. McGehee and Jones can platoon at first and the rest of the crew can move back to the bench instead of wandering the outfield.

    If we are willing to pay up, that could be Willingham. If we want a cheaper option, maybe Ross from Boston. We do not need a light hitting leadoff type.

  • Andrew Scott

    Juan Pierre. Cringe.

  • Rick Peluso

    The Twins are balking at reasonable offers for Willingham and they seem bent on holding out to the deadline for a team to vastly overpay for him. I think Soriano would be a nice pickup, Pierre isn’t ideal but would be ok IMO, and I thought I’d throw out Bonifacio’s name as the Marlins are starting to realize that they need to sell. He’s a young guy, 27, with control through 2013, and will he doesn’t provide much pop he is extremely fast, bats for a decent average for a leadoff man, can steal a base, and has a 2:1 K/BB ratio leading to a serviceable OBP. It still would remain to be seen if the Marlins are going into a total sellers mode, but if Emilio can be had at a decent price, and he should be with 1.5 years of control and a 2.5~3 WAR at max, I think he would be an upgrade for the leadoff spot. He has played almost everywhere too so he could serve the role of a utility type too which could open up a spot on the roster to hold an extra pitcher or another depth piece at first/RF.

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