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.

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