Dotel close to signing with Bucs

According to multiple reports, the Pirates are close to signing reliever Octavio Dotel. The contract is expected to be worth much less than the $6 million Dotel received last year. He would be a closer candidate, along with Joel Hanrahan and Evan Meek.

The Pirates will need to remove a player from the 40-man roster before adding Dotel. It seems that could be delaying the signing at this point. The Pirates still have plenty of players that could come off the roster without the bat of an eye, which gives me the feeling that something else might be happening. Maybe Neal Huntington is working out a trade for one of the fringe bench players on the roster. I would not be surprised.

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Pirates agree to terms with Ryan Church

It was reported this morning that the Pirates are talking to free agent Ryan Church, with one report stating that a deal is close. I wrote last week that the Pirates should explore internal options over signing a free agent. For some reason, I never considered Church while writing that post. Church has a very good corner outfield glove and a league average bat. He is essentially an average player when he is healthy.

Church would be an upgrade over anyone the Pirates have to play right field at this point. If signed, he should push Garrett Jones to first base and Jeff Clement to the bench, a role he is best suited for. That would provide a marginal improvement to the Pirates lineup. Church is a much more interesting option to me than Rick Ankiel or Xavier Nady.

UPDATE (7:45 PM):
Dejan reports that the Pirates have agreed to terms with Church. His signing will depend on the results of a physical later in the week. Due to his past injury issues, that physical will be significant.

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