In John Lowe's article on Freep.com, Dave Dombrowski is quoted but would not confirm or deny the signing. Dombrowski only said, "We've had interest in him." This hush-hush attitude is par for the course with Dombrowski—and most GMs for that matter.
The Tigers prefer to wait until the player passes his physical before making an official announcement.
The Dotel signing makes sense, as bullpen help was one of the needs that the Tigers had going into the offseason.
Dotel is a 13-year veteran of MLB, and with that many years under his belt, he might be able to share some knowledge with the young arms in the Tigers bullpen—Ryan Perry, Daniel Schlereth, Brayan Villarreal, and Al Alburquerque.
Alburquerque was impressive this year, but for the most part, these guys would benefit from learning something from a veteran who has been around the block.
Dotel sure fits that description. Thirteen years in the league, and the Tigers will be the 13th team he's played for, having played for three teams just last year and four teams in 2010.
The one-time rocket-armed closer for the Astros and A's is now a reliable seventh-inning set-up man. The velocity on his pitches has gone down after all these years as you'd expect. Like many aging pitchers before him, however, he's learned how to actually pitch.
That is a lesson those previously mentioned young arms definitely need to be taught.
The Tigers are committed to their young pitchers, and each one has shown promise. However, the Tigers will contend for another AL Central Division title. They want an insurance policy in case the youngsters don't pan out, get injured, implode or get lost in some other natural disaster.
Dotel is that insurance policy.
This signing will likely be the last of the offseason for the Tigers. Dombrowski cautioned fans and media to not expect any big-name, expensive signings.
He signed Gerald Laird, re-signed Ramon Santiago and now, Dotel.
In Lowe's article, Dombrowski also talks about the need for a fifth starter. This is not an immediate concern for Detroit, however, as the Tigers want pitchers from their farm system to compete in spring training for that spot.
A veteran would only be signed if none of those guys were ready to assume the role.
Let me be the first to welcome Dotel to the Tigers. Since he just won the World Series with St. Louis, maybe he can help the Tigers win one as well. Two championships in a row would certainly be a nice payoff after a long career.