You're Innocent When You Dream: Will Octavio Dotel Be Worth It?

Yesterday, the Jays brought Octavio Dotel in on a one-year deal for $2.75 M with a team option for a second year at $3.5 M (buyout of $750,000).  Some folks are bent out of shape, some compare the deal to the one we signed Kevin Gregg to last season and others are ambivalent.  My gut reaction when I heard that we were pursuing Dotel was, "Why bother?" but the more I think about it, the more pleased I am to have him.

Dotel will help some to solidify a bullpen that lost two key members last season.  Dotel's walk-rate (4.09 BB/9 career, 4.50 BB/9 in 2010)  makes me a bit worried to see him come into situations with runners already on, though his ability to miss bats (10.95 K/9 career, 10.55 K/9 in 2010, 13.1 Whiff% in 2010)  could bail some other pitchers out.  The $3.5 M guaranteed to Dotel would dictate that he'd need to be worth about 0.75 wins.  As mentioned in an earlier thread, however, Dotel could easily be a Type B free agent, though he would need to replace the 2009 season, in which he benefitted from some good luck (79.8% strand-rate).  On the other hand, the Elias rankings are affected by saves and Dotel did not get any in 2009, so if the Jays used him as at least a part-time closer he should be able to improve his ranking there.  Assuming that Dotel pitches only slightly worse than career norms, is able to maintain Type B status and does not retire, I think it's a good move.  I think it's unlikely that we pick up his option, but it could improve his trade value mid-season.  What do you all think?

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