Blue Jays Sign Octavio Dotel

The Blue Jays' deal with Octavio Dotel is official, the team announced. The sides agreed on a $3MM contract for 2011 plus a $3.5MM club option for 2012, according to the team. Enrique Rojas of (Twitter links) first reported the deal. 

Dotel will be the frontrunner for Toronto's closer job this spring, though he'll have to earn it, according to Morosi. 

The Blue Jays lost Scott Downs to the Angels and Kevin Gregg also seems likely to depart via free agency. To a certain extent, Dotel actually resembles Gregg statistically. Both walked about one batter per two innings last year, while Dotel (10.5 K/9) struck out more opponents than Gregg (8.8 K/9). Gregg picked up 37 saves to Dotel's 22 and posted a lower ERA (Gregg: 3.51 ERA, Dotel: 4.08 ERA). Gregg also throws slightly harder, is five years younger and induces more ground balls. The two pitchers are both represented by Beverly Hills Sports Council.

The Blue Jays could have exercised Gregg's $4.5MM option for 2011 after the season, but chose to decline. Assuming Gregg signs a major league deal elsewhere, they'll end up with an extra supplementary first round draft choice and a bullpen that costs $1MM less (the difference between Dotel's guarantee and Gregg's option).

The Pirates – the first of the three teams Dotel played for last year – and the Rays were among Dotel's suitors this offseason. The Rockies – the third of the three teams he played for – will obtain a supplementary first round pick in next year's draft since they offered the Type B reliever arbitraiton.

It's worth noting that Colorado will get a compensation pick for a player who appeared in eight games as a Rockie. Even more remarkably, the Blue Jays gained a supplementary first round pick for losing former Rockie Miguel Olivo, a player who never once suited up for them.

14 Responses to Blue Jays Sign Octavio Dotel Leave a Reply

  1. andhicks 4 years ago

    In AA we trust!

    Lets just hope this ends up producing a pick.

  2. It gives us a better bullpen, so I’m happy. He shouldn’t close though.

  3. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    This signing screams “umm we’ll compete in a few years “

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      which should be true

    • Mick_In_Ithaca 4 years ago

      I don’t know why you’d say this. This is a cheap veteran signing, a guy who handles right handed hitters very well, who has a high strikeout rate. He’s a good fall-back if used judiciously. The best thing that could happen with the bullpen this season is that Pappy, Farrell et al can locate the guy already in the system who can step up and close.

      If you mean that if they thought they’d be competitive sooner than a few years they would’ve signed Soriano, then I disagree. Signing a closer for big money almost never works. It’s not a part of the team where you want to spend tons of dough. I think that Farrell is likely to handle the bullpen better than we’ve seen for a while, and he’ll add his expertise to Pappy’s in assigning roles. Dotel might win the job initially, or maybe Cordero will impress in Spring, but I doubt Dotel will be the closer at the end of the season.

      The Jays’ future competitiveness, and its schedule, don’t have much to do with off-season bullpen signings, and I don’t think this signing screams anything about any of that.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        I’m a jays fan and not a homer, but I’ve been terribly un impressed with the jays off season..

        I’m beginning to believe that Rogers isn’t on board with the team and unwilling to spend money. Signing Soriano would be stupid, because you give up a 1st round pick, but their we’re plenty of other type B’s that could have fortified the bullpen and roster that would have only cost money..

        I mean O’s landed Lee on a 1 year deal and we end up with Edwin Encarnacion? Like seriously..

        Its becoming more and more obvious to me that the owner ship is a silent cancer within the organization, I have the upmost faith in AA, i mean how could you not, but I don’t have faith in Rogers any longer.. Especially with the rumors of them purchasing the leafs, raps and tfc, that could only mean even less money invested in the Jays or a possible sale. .

        And I know I’m going to be attacked by Jays fans who are going to say AA has a plan or it doesnt make sense. but having a plan and improving at the same time is perfectly possible, but the team doesn’t look interested in that, it seems to me the Jays want to go to the Tampa route, not the Braves, Phils or Red Sox route.

        • Roll Fizzlebeef 4 years ago

          Derrek Lee wants to be a full-time 1B. Adam Lind needs a spot in the field and since Snider is now the fixture in left field, first base is the only place for him. Bringing in Lee would mean that he would be at first for most of the season, blocking Lind.

          EE’s problems are two fold: he hasn’t improved his throwing enough to warrant staying at third and he is streaky. By bringing back EE for a fraction of Lee’s price to be the DH and fill in at 1B, the Jays get a player who still has plenty of potential to be useful with his bat while having one of his major weaknesses, throwing, taken all but out of the equation.

          Eddie hit 21 homeruns in 96 games last year. His career average is .258/.336/.453/.787 and around 25 dingers. That’s not too shabby for $3.5MM.

          On the subject of the Dotel signing, I’m not too high on the idea of him going up against lefties, but he gets the job done against righties in late inning situations. It’s a pretty inconsequential signing, but he’ll help the team.

        • lol, this is all good. jays fans were impatient with pat gillick in the late 80’s as well.

          i think we all gave AA’s vision our blessing when he first took the job a little more than a year ago, and yet one decent season makes every jays fan want to rush the process.

          i think EE made a lot more sense for the organization than lee did. he has much more upside with the stick and could actually be a plus defender at 1st base when he plays there. adding a possible long term option makes more sense than adding a vet who is only here for a season. i dont think lee is gonna be the difference between making and missing the playoffs for the jays this year

        • Mick_In_Ithaca 4 years ago

          I won’t bother addressing your points regarding Lee and EE since Fizzlebeef has already done it. I just don’t think Rogers has anything to do with who got signed and didn’t get signed this off season. I think it’s all on AA, who deserves the credit, or the blame if you think there’s blame. Other than Crawford (who wasn’t going to sign with the Jays because he didn’t want to play on turf), there wasn’t anybody they obviously should’ve signed. But if you think they’re not going to spend money, I guess we’ll have our answer to that this season: plenty of guys are going to be signed to contracts I think. Your pal Snider, assuming (as I hope) he has his breakout season; Morrow; Bautista, whom I think is for real and whom I think they should sign to an extension while they can. This is all going to cost money, and the payroll will go up considerably.

          If they don’t extend any of these players, then I think you, and all the other people who think Rogers lied to AA and lied to fans, will be proven right.

  4. Matt_CC 4 years ago

    Please please please only close against righties.

  5. My guess is that Dotel keeps the bullpen warm for a year for $1mn less than Gregg in 2011, and then AA/Farrell go and recruit Papelbon in 2012 when the Jays are confident they can make a run for the AL East

    • Mick_In_Ithaca 4 years ago

      Please, no Papelsmear. Ugh!

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      while i do agree that papelbon is good, i do not want to see his goldfish face every ninth inning

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      while i do agree that papelbon is good, i do not want to see his goldfish face every ninth inning

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