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.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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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.

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.


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.

Lee Young

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

Dave Parker's Unfiltered Camel

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

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

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