The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the Pirates have focused their attention on free-agent reliever Octavio Dotel. At the same time, they might be backing away from free-agent outfielder Rick Ankiel.
According to the newspaper, the Pirates already have made an offer to Dotel, who would serve as the team’s closer. The only other remaining free agents with closing experience are Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg. The Pirates have a ninth-inning void to fill after allowing Matt Capps to become a free agent. He signed with the Washington Nationals this week.
As for Ankiel, Pittsburgh won’t guarantee him a starting job, something Ankiel’s agent, Scott Boras, is demanding in contract talks. The Post-Gazette listed free-agent outfielders Xavier Nady, Ryan Church and Rocco Baldelli as other possible targets for the Pirates.