Tigers, Dotel close to finalizing one-year deal

The Tigers found the man they wanted to shore up the middle of their bullpen, and Octavio Dotel found another new home. They found a match Wednesday evening, and the two sides spent Wednesday evening putting together a one-year contract.

The deal was not finalized as of late Wednesday evening, but a baseball source characterized it as close. It’s expected to include an option for the 2013 season, a compromise between the multi-year contract Dotel was seeking and the one-year deal the Tigers preferred.

The Tigers have a policy of not confirming contracts until a physical has been completed. That likely won’t happen until after the Winter Meetings have concluded at the Hilton Anatole hotel.

The 38-year-old Dotel will be playing for his 13th Major League team, and his third in the American League Central, but he has been a Tigers target on several occasions over the last five years. He’ll finally get his shot in a seventh-inning role to bridge the gap between Detroit’s starting rotation and the late-inning duo of setup man Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde.

Dotel’s pursuit was down to two teams by Wednesday evening, pitting the Tigers against the Cardinals. Dotel won a World Series this fall in St. Louis, and by all accounts felt a strong pull to go back. However, the chance to win in Detroit and the strong Latin presence on the team helped draw Dotel to the Tigers after they began courting him a couple weeks ago.

– Jason Beck

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