Blue Jays About to Sign Veteran RP Octavio Dotel

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportes.com, the Blue Jays are about to sign RP Octavio Dotel to a 1-year contract worth approximately $3.2 million with the possibility of $500,000 or so in incentives.

What you may be interested about with reference to RHP:

Octavio Dotel Octavio Dotel #26 of the Chicago White Sox throws a pitch against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field on April 22, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois.

image courtesy of zimbio.com


  • Full Name: Octavio Eduardo (Diaz) Dotel
  • Size: 6’0″ 220 lbs
  • Was signed as an international FA in 1993 by the NYM
  • Made his MLB debut in June of 1999 while still with the Mets
  • Was traded to Houston in a deal that brought Mike Hampton to NY
  • Stayed with Houston for 4 years, became a RP
  • Was part of the mega deal that wound up with him being traded to Oakland, Cash, Mark Teahen, Mike Wood and John Buck went to KC, and Carlos Beltran went to Houston.
  • When he signed with KC as a FA in 2007, he was eventually dealt to Atlanta in return for Kyle Davies.
  • In between those transactions and after, he has also spent time with the Yankees, Pirates, Rockies, Dodgers, and White Sox.

To say that Octavio Dotel has been travelled is an understatement.

Career stats?

3.75 ERA / 630 games / 834.1 IP / 669 hits allowed / 108 HRs allowed / 1015 Ks / 379 BB / 1.256 whip / and most importantly 105 saves

To say that the Jays are getting an effective reliever who can share a ton of knowledge with what is now a very young pen would be 100% accurate.

Having said that, the Jays are are getting an aging arm, so what he does in 2011 remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain – he has seen most MLB hitters somewhere at some point in his career and is able to handle the pressure of pitching at the back end of a competitive AL East division.

Octavio is not Mariano Rivera caliber or an automatic closer for the Jays, but he does provide the Jays with exactly what they need – a short term option at the back of the pen that will provide the Jays with a steady presence and go-to guy when things get tight.

I could examine his 2010 stats but I think that the fact he pitch on 3 different teams during the season hurt his stats overall. What I do know is that he can still pitch himself – and others – out of jams and can be trusted to get the needed Ks with runners on base.

Some scary stats to consider

  • His stats at Rogers Centre: 20 batters faced, .350 average against, .480 OBP, .600 SLG and a 3.67 ERA with 2.357 whip
  • He has a worst 7.59 ERA at Fenway with a 2.250 whip

That doesn’t really scream comfort in Toronto or Boston, two place where he’ll be pitching a ton in 2011. Hopefully those are anomalies that he can overcome.

Otherwise most of his stats look alright concerning the AL East and other opponents. He pitches better when first facing hitters, worst the second time around, does better when pitching the 8th or 9th inning than any other inning, and he pitches very well with runners on.

I can’t say that I’m ecstatic about this deal, but it does fit the situation and the time that the Jays are facing right now. It gives them a boost at the back end and should help the Jays compete in 2011.

I stated in Mid-December that Octavio was the most likely Jays target and that he made the most sense for the Jays. I’m glad that  was right and I look forward to seeing him compete for the closing role this season.

By my count, and by the depth chart, this should be the only major move the Jays make to solidify the pen unless they don’t trust some of their in-house options.

- MG

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