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Otsuka's Out For 2008; Help Us, Matt Mantei

Approximately a month ago, I suggested that the Detroit Tigers look into signing Akinori Otsuka - who had non-tendered by the Texas Rangers - to bolster their bullpen. The underlying suspicion, however, was that a talented reliever like Otsuka wouldn't have been released unless something was seriously wrong with an elbow that had kept him out since July. Yesterday, Rangers GM Jon Daniels confirmed that was the case.

From The Newberg Report:

Jon Daniels apparently shared some interesting news at a Rangers fan event yesterday, responding to a question about Akinori Otsuka's status by noting that the righthander, who turns 36 this Sunday, is headed for elbow surgery that will cost him the 2008 season. Certainly makes last month's non-tender a lot more understandable.

The Rangers are looking at Eddie Guardado to fill the open spot in their bullpen.

As for the Tigers and where else they might look, Matt Mantei is throwing for the team tomorrow at Comerica Park. And if everything looks good (both the throw session and a physical exam), he'll likely be offered a minor-league contract. Mantei says he's "about 85-90%" and would take a minimum salary if it meant he was able to play for another championship.

(via MLB Trade Rumors)