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Pirates eye reliever Octavio Dotel

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting the Pirates are setting their sights on free agent reliever Octavio Dotel. The Pirates have been monitoring the reliever market all offseason, making unsuccessful runs at Jose Valverde and Kevin Gregg.

The Tigers, Blue Jays, Marlins, and Athletics are also interested in Dotel, but the Pirates are ready to guarantee him the closer role, which could be intriguing for the 36-year old. 

Dotel, 36, has not closed since early 2007, but he was a reliable setup man for closer Bobby Jenks and the Chicago White Sox the past two seasons, with ERAs of 3.76 and 3.32 over 132 appearances. He also maintained a quality strikeout rate -- 10.83 per nine innings -- that indicates he has fended off decline.

While the team also has interest in long reliever D.J. Carrasco, they feel that Dotel will sign on the cheap so the team can pursue an outfielder like Rick Ankiel, Ryan Church, or Jonny Gomes