Pirates remain interested in reuniting Francis with Clint Hurdle
The Pittsburgh Pirates are not done in trying to add to their MLB roster.
The team has made a late pusuit in luring former closer Octavio Dotel back to Pittsburgh. According to an industry source, the Pirates have made a nearly indentical one year offer that Dotel received last year from the team. The offer is for close to $3 million with performance incentives included.
The only hang up is that the team has not guaranteed Dotel that he would be the team’s closer going into spring training.
Dotel, 37, made $3.25 million in 2010 and had 22 saves on the season, splitting time with Pirates, Rockies, and Dodgers. However, the Pirates late pursuit likely won’t be enough as Dotel is looking for the best opportunity to be a closer and is in deep talks with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays are reported to be offering Dotel close to $3.5 million on a one year deal. On Sunday, the two sides were reportedly very close to agreeing to a deal but Dotel’s agent Dan Horwits has gone back to the other teams involved including the Pirates to mull all options.
The teams focus of late has been on bolstering their bullpen and adding a quality MLB reliever to go with Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek.
The Pirates last month did express interest in former Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg who was 4th in the American League with 37 saves.
More Pirates Buzz
*The Pirates have not closed the door on bringing starting pitcher Jeff Francis on board, despite the possibility looking bleak at the Winter Meetings.
Francis won a combined 40 games with the Colorado Rockies from 2005-2007 under Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. He was a 17 game winner in 2007.
Only 29, he’s a great bounce back candidate if his shoulder can hold up. Pittsburgh would absolutely love to bring Francis into spring training. The hope remains that Hurdle can lure him here.
*The Pirates have been said to be monitoring the market for Carl Pavano whose the top free agent starter on the market. No one in the industy expects Pavano to consider Pittsburgh but the Pirates have been said to be prepared to get into the mix if Pavano’s willing to discuss a two year deal.
Pavano is seeking Ted Lilly kind of money (3 yrs – $33 million).
*Scouts around the league like the low risk move from the Pirates in bringing Garrett Atkins into spring training. Atkins is coming off of two awful seasons but he’s still only 31 years old.
Under manager Clint Hurdle, Atkins hit 20+ homers from 2006-2008.
In 2006, Atkins batted .329 with 29 home runs – 120 RBI’s…..2007 Atkins hit .301 with 25 home runs – 111 RBI….. in 2008 hit .286 with 21 home runs – 99 RBI’s.
Atkins numbers have been on the decline but he’s going to be an intriguing player in spring training.