Roundup: Relievers generating buzz

While it’s likely any bigger Hot Stove developments will be on hiatus until after the holiday weekend, Wednesday still brought a fresh round of buzz surrounding several established relievers.
One such pitcher is right-handed reliever Grant Balfour. While it’s still very likely that the Type-A free agent will find a multiyear deal on the open market, there is still a possibility he could return to the Rays, Fox Sports.com reported Wednesday. While noting this is especially unlikely given that the Rays would have to forfeit a Draft pick for a right-handed reliever, the report noted that much of the Rays bullpen has been depleted and it was still a possibility.
Free agent right-hander Octavio Dotel also has several teams interest, including the Blue Jays, Pirates and Rays, according to a Fox Sports.com report on Wednesday. Dotel would seemingly be more interested in clubs that could make a closer job available to him, which those three teams likely could.
In addition to the relievers market, here’s a look at activity around the rest of the league on Wednesday:
- Left-handed free agent Jeff Francis continues to draw attention from multiple teams. The Yanks, Mets, Nationals, Pirates and Rangers all have different levels of interest in Francis, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted on Wednesday. 
- Amidst Tuesday’s speculation that a “mystery” National League Central team might be in on starter Brandon Webb, the Reds are not it, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted on Wednesday. According to Fay, the Reds “haven’t had any discussions about Webb recently.”
- After Joaquin Arias and Lance Zawadzki cleared waivers, the Royals officially outrighted the two infielders to Triple-A Omaha on Wednesday. Both were designated for assignment earlier this offseason likely in an effort to clear roster space for acquisitions.
- To make room for starter Kevin Correia on their 40-man roster, the Pirates designated right-hander Joe Martinez for assignment on Wednesday. The Bucs also extended Spring Training invites to four non-roster players: Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson. 
–Bailey Stephens

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