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Postby WharfRat » Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:02 am

So long as the Yanks don't get taken to the cleaners on this, I can't see this as anything but a positive. With the man's performances as a setup man in the past, the least they can do is see what he does upon return.,0,7625619,print.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

Yanks, Dotel seem close to agreement


December 20, 2005

The Yankees appeared close to an agreement with reliever Octavio Dotel before talks cooled last night. But they still seem to hold a slight edge over the Mets, Indians, Rangers and Red Sox, with a deal expected as early as this afternoon, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

General manager Brian Cashman, to no one's surprise, has identified the bullpen as the 2005 Yankees' most glaring weakness. He hopes to add Dotel as the latest in a series of offseason moves designed to bolster the relief corps.

Dotel, 32, appeared in only 15 games for the A's last season before undergoing Tommy John surgery in June. After breaking in as a starter with the Mets in 1999, the hard-throwing Dotel was transformed into a reliever who can be dominant at times, though inconsistent.

He had 36 saves in 45 opportunities while splitting time with the Astros and A's in 2004, striking out 122 in 851/3 innings, but had a tendency to blow leads in spectacular fashion. Obviously, the Yankees won't need him to close games as long as Mariano Rivera stays healthy, and with Dotel still recovering from last season's operation, he probably won't be ready to pitch until late April.

While the Yankees have the lure of a perennial contender, Dotel also has shown interest in joining the vastly improved Mets, the team that signed him as an amateur free agent in 1993 and ultimately packaged him with Roger Cedeño in the trade for Mike Hampton. The Mets currently have Aaron Heilman in a setup role for Billy Wagner, but they plan to have open auditions once spring training starts.

To that end, the Mets signed Darren Oliver, Pedro Feliciano and Jose Parra yesterday to minor-league contracts. Oliver, 35, apparently changed his mind after announcing his retirement last May 21. Feliciano, 29, and Parra, 33, had previous stints with the Mets, but both pitched in Japan last season. The club also released Kaz Ishii, who was 3-9 with a 5.14 ERA in 19 appearances.

If the Yankees sign Dotel, he will join lefthanders Mike Myers and Ron Villone and righthander Kyle Farnsworth, completing a whirlwind makeover of their previously suspect bullpen. Short of signing Johnny Damon to play centerfield, it doesn't seem as if the Yankees have much left on their agenda. Damon was expected to decline arbitration from the Red Sox last night, meaning Boston has only until Jan. 8 to negotiate with him.

Damon said earlier this month that he would welcome the opportunity to join the Yankees, but they are reluctant to go beyond four years at this stage -- and Scott Boras' starting price is seven years for $84 million. Unless that number comes down, the Yankees seem content to go with Bubba Crosby in center, and even Derek Jeter shrugged yesterday when asked about the team's direction this offseason.

"I don't know exactly what we can do," said Jeter, stopping at Yankee Stadium yesterday as part of his Turn 2 Holiday Express. "There's not too many things our team can do. But if something happens, I don't think it will be that surprising. We have a way of surprising people sometimes. I just don't see it this year."
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Postby The Big Stick » Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:13 pm

Thanks WharfRat for the article. For some reason, I am unable to read the post or newsday today. Well, I for one think Dotel will be really good in NY. He know NY from his time with the Mets and we all know what he can do setting up.
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Postby blankman » Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:29 pm

He's worth a risk, but you can't go into the season expecting anything from him.
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Postby Minor League Skilz » Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:17 pm

He is worth the risk for a one year deal. That gives us three pitchers who can get the strikeout, two lefties, and two guys to handle long relief (or even spot start). It looks balanced on paper.

That pen is getting filled up fast though. If we get Dotel it would look like this.


Plus the six starters in RJ, Moose, Chacon, Pavano, Wang, and Wright. That is 13 pitchers not even thinking about guys like Proctor or Matt Smith who Cashman was talking up earlier in the offseason.

Dotel probably won't be ready in time for opening day, but it looks like someone would have to be moved.

By the way does anyone know what proctor's status is? I thought I remembered hearing he is out of options.
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Postby disgruntledjetsfan » Wed Dec 28, 2005 8:27 pm

I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but it takes more than a year to recover from the reconstructive elbow surgery that Octavio Dotel had. This is not just my opinion, my dad is a retired orthopaedic surgeon (and a die hard yankee fan), so he is very skeptical about Dotel's ability to pitch next year....
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Postby BronXBombers51 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:49 am

disgruntledjetsfan wrote:I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade or anything, but it takes more than a year to recover from the reconstructive elbow surgery that Octavio Dotel had. This is not just my opinion, my dad is a retired orthopaedic surgeon (and a die hard yankee fan), so he is very skeptical about Dotel's ability to pitch next year....

It's been done before, and all reports indicate that he'll be ready to go by midseason at the latest. I don't see how it's a long shot that he'll be able to pitch this year. Maybe he'll be out a little longer than expected, but I think he'll be in there for the last month or two at least.
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