With almost all of the big-name free agents and trade candidates off the market, there has been a dearth of rumors and news the past couple days. There are still one or two more big contracts likely to happen - Adrian Beltre is still out there - but we're starting to reach that time of the year where the bargain shoppers come out. With all the big names off the market and roster spots quickly disappearing, free agents find themselves with a diminishing number of options. This leads to players signing for less money then they would otherwise, and it's where general managers like Andrew Friedman can make a killing.
Today, we got some news on a couple potential Rays targets:
- Jon Morosi is reporting that Octavio Dotel is getting offers from the Blue Jays, Pirates, and Rays. Dotel is a beautiful buy-low candidate for the back of the bullpen; despite his age (37), Dotel continues to miss bats (10% SwgSt%, 10.55 K/9) and put up overall respectable numbers (4.08 ERA, 4.20 FIP). He's no Rafael Soriano and I'm unsure how he would perform in the AL East, but he's a valuable reliever that would be great to acquire for the right price.
As Jason Collette notes, though, we wouldn't want to bring him in as a closer: his splits against lefties are atrocious and there are too many strong lefties in this division. But as always, for the right price, he'd be a good piece in the back of the bullpen. I'm still rooting for Jon Rauch to get looked over and ignored, and fall into the Rays' hands.
- Derrek Lee is searching for a contract in the $8-10M range, and it sounds as though he's found at least one team that will give it to him. The Orioles have been courting Adam LaRoche, trying to bring him on for multiple years, but if that falls through, Buster Olney is claiming that the Orioles are willing to offer Lee a one year, $8M contract. If that's Lee's going price at the moment, I hope the Rays are at least looking into him.
- MLBTradeRumors has averaged all the contracts from this off-season, and has a list showing the average price for players at each position. The average closer price-tag? $10M per year. The average "regular reliever" price-tag? $3M per year.
And that, my friends, is why I'm okay if the Rays don't sign a "proven closer". C'mon, Rauch! You know you want to be a Ray.