Detroit Tigers sign Octavio Dotel
DETROIT -- Octavio Dotel is on the verge of an unusual record.
Dotel has reached an agreement with the Detroit Tigers on a one-year deal, with a team option for 2013. When he takes the mound for the Tigers next season, the right-handed reliever will be playing for a record 13th major league franchise.
The 38-year-old Dotel is currently tied with Matt Stairs, Mike Morgan and Ron Villone after appearing in a game with 12 franchises, according to STATS LLC. Stairs retired last season, finishing his career with the Washington Nationals after starting it 19 years earlier with the same franchise when it was in Montreal.
Detroit did not announce financial terms of the contract. Later on Friday, the Tigers announced they had traded Ryan Perry to the Washington Nationals for Collin Balester in a swap of two other right-handed relievers.
Dotel had a 3.50 ERA in 54 innings and went 5-4 last season for Toronto and St. Louis. He appeared in 12 postseason games in 2011, helping the Cardinals win the World Series.
"He has been successful in various roles throughout his major league career," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "His addition to our club solidifies our bullpen for the 2012 season."
It's the second consecutive offseason the Tigers have made a significant reliever signing. Last year, Detroit added Joaquin Benoit, who posted a 2.95 ERA for the Tigers and helped them win the AL Central by 15 games.
Detroit already decided to pick up Jose Valverde's 2012 option after he saved 49 games in 49 chances last season.
Dotel began his career with the Mets but was traded in 1999 in a deal that sent Mike Hampton to New York. In 2004, he moved from Houston to Oakland in a three-way deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Astros.
Last season, Dotel was traded from the Blue Jays to the Cardinals.
Dotel has saved 108 games in his career, but he's unlikely to have many chances in Detroit's bullpen. The Tigers have Valverde and Benoit to protect leads late in games, and Al Alburquerque posted a 1.87 ERA last season. Dotel gives Detroit another right-handed option.
Perry went 5-6 with two saves and a 4.07 ERA in 161 1-3 innings across 149 relief appearances over three seasons with Detroit. In 2011, he was 2-0 with a 5.35 ERA in 36 appearances for the Tigers, and 3-0 with a 3.03 ERA in 20 games at Triple-A Toledo. He was a first-round draft pick out of the University of Arizona in 2008.
Ryan was expendable because the Tigers reached an agreement on a one-year deal with Octavio Dotel.
Balester was 5-16 with a 5.17 ERA in 62 games -- 40 in relief -- from 2008-11 in Washington. Last season, he was 1-4 with a 4.54 ERA in 23 appearances for the Nationals, and 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in 28 games at Triple-A Syracuse.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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