Open Thread: Octavio Dotel


(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The mid-aughts’ bullpens featured a lot of turnover, much more than we’ve seen out of the Yankees in recent years. Part of it had to do with Joe Torre, destroyer of arms, and part of it had to do with those pitchers not being very good in the first place. In an effort to beef up the relief corps, the Yankees signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year deal worth $2M with another $5.75M in incentives on this date in 2006. The only problem: Dotel was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

Obviously the Yankees knew that, but he was expected back by June, maybe even sooner since he was a reliever. Dotel was an established, close to elite reliever at the time, so they gambled that he’d strengthen their bullpen for the stretch drive. Things didn’t go as planned, starting with a minor setback that delayed the then-32-year-old’s return until mid-August. Once he did return, Dotel was pretty terrible, putting 29 men on base in ten innings, which led to 13 runs. Good idea, but it just didn’t work out.

I think we all suggest moves like that every offseason, the ol’ roll the dice on an injured star move. We heard quite a bit about Grady Sizemore this winter, and Rich Harden’s name always pops up from time to time. Chien-Ming Wang was another popular one both this offseason and last. Those moves don’t work out most of the time, though every once in a while they’ll turn into a Bartolo Colon circa 2011 and make it all worth it.

* * *

Here is your open thread for the night. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playings, though Time Warner customers are still without MSG because of the Dolans. I’m still paying for it, of course. Anyway, talk about whatever you want here. It’s all fair game.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Plank says:

    That picture is priceless.

  2. vin says:

    I’ve lumped the Dotel signing in with the Burnett, Pavano, and Javy Vazquez deals as good ideas that went sour. Can’t say the same for the Jaret Wright, Kyle Farnsworth, and Kei Igawa deals.

    • CJ says:

      I’ve lumped dotel with Berkman contreras Vazquez I & II, Kyle farnsworth and others that seemed like good ideas, careers looked over as yanks, then leave NY and become GREAT players again

  3. CJ says:

    Looks like zambrano is traded to Miami how much theo will eat yet. It will make trading AJ impossible, 2 years vs 1, zambrano had to go and Ozzie has a relationship with Z.

    • Rich in NJ says:

      I don’t think it makes it impossible to trade AJ, but it does make it expensive (not that it wasn’t always going to be very expensive. AJ is less boom/bust than Zambrano.

    • Urban says:

      The two are not directly comparable. Zambrano is mercurial, bodering on dangerous, with serious, serious anger-management issues, none of which apply to AJ, who is actually liked by his teammates. AJ throw pies, Zambrano throws water coolers, fists, kitchen sinks, knives, guns, nuclear bombs…okay, that might be extreme. AJ has actually been more durable the past two years, and his underlying 2011 stats rate out better than Z’s.

      That said, he will still be difficult to trade, but not impossible, based on how much the Yankees will want to eat. I don’t see the Yankees throwing in $15-18 million just to get rid of a pitcher because fans don’t like him. Think like the fans, you become the fans.

      • MannyGeee says:

        Side bar, what’s the over under on the inevitable fistfight between Z and Ozzie???

        I say June 15th.

      • radnom says:

        I don’t see the Yankees throwing in $15-18 million just to get rid of a pitcher because fans don’t like him.

        Good thing thats not the only reason to trade him. If he is as bad next season as he was in 2011 there is no way the Yankees rotation would not be better with Noesi/Warren/Me as the 5th starter.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Per MLBTR, the Fish give up Chris Volstad and they get in return Zambrano at the vets minimum…

      The rich get richer, huh

    • Steve S. says:

      AJ can be traded, you just have to eat cash to do so. Of course, there’s more than one way to take back cash. One is to eat it directly, the other is to take back a bad contract in return.

  4. Gonzo says:

    Anyone curious about the details involving a Zambrano trade?

    • Plank says:

      I have an irrational love of Zambrano. At no point in the past, present, or future have I, do I, or will I not want the Yankees to trade for him.

      • Gonzo says:

        I thought he was going to be an ace when he was younger. Can’t believe he is only 30.

        • Plank says:

          I think this is a good trade for Miami. He has only had one bad year – last year. Seems like a good buy low candidate.

          • Bo Knows says:

            minus the fact he is a clubhouse cancer and borderline insane. I think its a good deal for everyone, cubs get his crazy ass shipped away, and the Marlins get another pitcher (with the added bonus that when Zambrano throws his monthly temper tantrum, Stanton can and probably will knock him the F$%^k out)

            • Plank says:

              A clubhouse cancer and borderline insane? Wow. No doubt the Cubs lost countless games because of his personality.

              He single-handedly prevented them from reaching the world series in 2003. In fact, he’s clearly the reason the Cubs haven’t won since 1908.

              • RkyMtnYank says:

                They actually have lost several games due to his personality! Probably a few games than the number of fights in the dugout.

                • RkyMtnYank says:


                • Plank says:

                  Which games?

                  • Soriano Is A Liar says:

                    While serving suspensions for incidents on 5/27/2009 (six games), 6/25/2010 (“indefinitely”, not sure how long he was actually out) and 8/12/11(30 days, plus the Cubs didn’t let him pitch in september), he did not play, and therefore could not help his team win. I can’t say for sure he cost them those games, but his knack for meltdowns and suspensions has definitely affected the team. At the least, it’s an inconvenience, but it very well could cost them games, since the Cubs, each time, were stuck in the position of sending inferior pitchers out there in his place.

                    • Soriano Is A Liar says:

                      I’m not a huge fan, performancewise, I think he’s overrated, but he is still probably a league average pitcher at worst. Even if he’s below average by now, you’re still better off with him than a AAA scrub. So I would imagine that by missing significant time directly as a result of his meltdowns and tantrums, he has caused the team to lose games. We just can’t pinpoint which ones.

    • bonestock94 says:

      Seems like a trade for Volstad with the Cubs eating substantial salary.

  5. Avi says:

    Some snippets from today’s John Manuel chat on the Yanks’ top ten prospects from baseballamerica.com:
    Kyle (St Louis): How many of your top 10 do you believe are worthy of making the top overall 100?

    John Manuel: I’m thinking the top five players, from Montero to Mason Williams, all make it. I thought I had four in my personal top 50 but double-checked and realize I left Gary Sanchez out of the top 50 this year, after running him way up last year. Big bat, lots of maturing yet to do.
    KEV (Tampa, FL): Where would you rank Ramon Flores? Can you give us a quick scouting report on him?

    John Manuel: He’s in the 11-20 range, and if it weren’t for Jesus Montero, he might be the best pure hitter in the system; he’s right up there with Murphy and Sanchez and Mason Williams for pure hitting ability. His other tools and profile are short compared to those guys but Flores went up from last year’s Sleeper to being considered for the top 10 this year.

    Dara (Tampa, FL): Is Cito Culver still on your top 30 radar?

    John Manuel: Sure. He was under consideration for the top 10 and I wrote him up thinking he might be in the top 10, but after reading the report, his offensive upside just didn’t warrant it. He’s still very young; we’ll see how he hits when he gets his man strength. Dude will play his first full-season campaign as a teenager with 2 years of pro experience under him, I think he’ll have a nice season for Charleston and graduate to the top 10 after 2012.

    Avi (New Jersey): Dante Bichette Jr was ranked at #108 in Baseball America’s pre draft rankings. Did the Yankees just know more than the “concensus”, or is this a case of “reach pick” exceeding his expectations?

    John Manuel: Good question. He exceeded our expectations; that’s for sure. I don’t think he exceeded New York’s expectations offensively but he did defensively. He ranked 108 for us because of the profile as a right-right OF. The fact that he played well at 3B is a game-changer; he’s got much more value if he can stay at 3b, and the Yankees are confident that he can. That said, the area guys in Florida we had spoken with over the years were not as high on him staying in the infield. That’s where the Yankees bucked the consensus and so far they look good for it.

    • Plank says:

      Thanks Avi.

    • Mike Myers says:

      about danny b jr..

      dont they have someone at 3B for the next 123422 years?

      • mustang says:

        You mean the sooner rather then later to be most expensive DH in MLB.

        • Plank says:

          I would make a Mayans joke, but it’s already played out the 4th day of January. This is gonna be a fun year. I foresee Mayans jokes mixed with arguments about payroll through the prism of the austerity plan for the next 12 months.

    • Avi says:

      Oh and I loved this one on Montero:

      @Jaypers413 (IL): Did previous less-than-stellar international experiences lead to the Yanks deciding to bid so conservatively on Darvish? Had they won his rights and signed him, would you have ranked him above Montero for #1?

      John Manuel: I don’t think Kei Igawa helped their cause to get Darvish in any way. But I don’t know what they bid for Darvish; I thought that was Rangers all the way. Very hard to say on Darvish vs. Montero; I might still go Montero over Darvish considering the hitter vs. pitcher and how safe I consider Montero to be as a prospect. He’s going to be a very productive hitter, I think for a long time, who will catch enough for you to use him on your Strat team there, at least for the first few years. To me he’s comparable to Paul Konerko, peak value Paulie.

    • Steve S. says:

      Damn, add Ramon Flores to the Tyler Austin list of underrated sleepers for 2012.

  6. mustang says:

    Maybe that deal will workout for the Marlins. It might take a nut (Guillen) to fix another nut (Zambrano). Throw in Reyes (with a new super contract) and Hanley ” strong preference to remain at shortstop” Ramirez into the mix and the Marlins might be more fun off the field then on it.

    • CMP says:

      3 crazy Latino players with a loose cannon like Ozzie and the Marlins are a powder keg waiting to explode especially if they don’t meet expectations on the field.

    • Steve S. says:

      Not sure how much the Big Z has left, and he’s never had the patience to actually learn how to pitch. He’s just a big arm that doesn’t have the giddy-up it used to.

      • Plank says:

        Whatever he is, his baseball performance has been outstanding outside of last year.

        Those aren’t the numbers of someone who doesn’t know how to pitch. He walks a lot of guys, but he’s consistently shown an ability to succeed while doing so.

        • Steve S. says:


          Fastball’s down, not a ton but pretty consistent over the past two years. For a guy that challenges hitters like he does, it doesn’t take much.

          Look, at 3M I agree he’s worth taking a shot for Miami. But he’s been a 2-3 WAR pitcher for about 5 years now. He’s not outstanding, he’s a mid-rotation guy at this point assuming a bounce back year.

  7. leo says:

    any chance tommy kahnle ends up in double a this year?

  8. Dale Mohorcic says:

    Jamie Moyer # 2 Starter.

  9. Plank says:

    I forget if this was ever linked to.


    Is Corban Joseph any kind prospect?

    • Urban says:

      Decent, star seems to be rising. He played AA at 22-years-old, and should be in AAA in 2012, so certainly not too old for his levels.

      Projects out to a solid bat, should develop more power, with the main question being can he show enough glove at second to stay at second. The Yankees, as you know, have no problem putting marginal defensive players with strong bats up the middle, and why not, they’ve won more than a few championships with just that type of player!


  10. leo says:

    check out the nick vijucic story on youtube a real inspirational story.

  11. Time Killer says:

    Quick distraction: Google image search “Jorge Soler” – 5th one, top row.

  12. j says:

    Damn Mason Williams is skinny.

  13. Brooklyn Ed says:

    The Pirates expressed interest at one point, sources say, and a rival executive speculated that the Braves could pursue Burnett if they trade right-hander Jair Jurrjens; the Braves finished second to the Yankees in the free-agent bidding for Burnett after the 2008 season.


    So hmm… crazy to think trading Burnett for Jurrjens? Just kill 2 birds in one stone…

    • mbonzo says:

      I don’t see Cashman trading prospects to get rid of Burnett, so if anything happened it would probably include a lot of money going with AJ or 2 seperate deals.

    • Steve S. says:

      That exec isn’t well informed. The whole reason the Braves want to move Jurrjens is to make room for their basket load of young starters. And Jurrjens is better than Burnett, why would they make that deal, even if we picked up most of the $?

  14. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    Guillen and Zambrano means “Bat and Wear a Cup Day” at Celia Cruz Stadium down there.

  15. Robert says:

    Trade idea Nunez,Swisher to ATL for Jurrjens.Jurrjens to ARZ.for Chris Young.

  16. CMP says:

    Theo is with the Cubs for 5 minutes and he’s able to dump Zambrano saving the Cubs $3 million. Not only is he just as shitty a pitcher as Burnett but he’s a crazy clubhouse cancer to boot.

    Hint hint Cashman.

    • mbonzo says:

      Zambrano has $18m left on his contract, Burnett $33m.
      Zambrano was also pretty good in 2009/2010.

      • CMP says:

        The guy hasn’t thrown more than 188 innings since 2007 and he’s a total maniac. If you can move him you can move anyone.

        • MannyGeee says:

          Any one ‘can’ be moved…. Vernon wells, alex rios, big z, all albatrosses moved.

          But do you really think Cashman wants to pay ALL of AJs salary to see him do even marginally better?

    • CJ says:

      takes back Volstad’s $3 million. Savings none. What good is $3 m anyway?

      Everyone can now forget the sunken cost of 2 years at $32 million. AJ Burnett is now a 2 year/6million pitcher. Do you like him any better? Still want to trade him? That’s the way this works folks.

      Theo had to make a bold statement with Zambrano. He did not save salary he removed a toxic player from the organization.

      • mbonzo says:

        I think he did pretty good. He had to get rid of Zambrano and now he’s basically paying Volstad $6m+ a year until 2015.

        • Steve S. says:

          ..and if last year wasn’t a fluke and/or he declines further, Zambrano might be worthless. But if he has a bounce back to the 2-3 WAR pitcher he’s been in recent years, he’s a steal at 3M.

          I think there some risk and reward for both sides, which is to say its a pretty good deal. Given what transpired with Big Z last year, there’s zero chance the Cubs have sellers remorse even if he has a big year.

        • CJ says:

          Can he non tender Volstad next season?

      • CMP says:

        No I wouldn’t want Burnett for 2 years/$6 million either. The Yankees entire AAA rotation plus Noesi can Probably give you just as much if not more than Burnett for a lot less than $3 million per year and some of them may actually have a future that doesn’t include totally sucking ass.

  17. CJ says:

    Bradley, NJ.com

    “Consider the Cubs asking price for Garza is said to be some combination Jesus Montero, Manuel Banuelos and Dellin Betances and Garza, a 28-year old righthander is coming off a season with the Cubs in which he went 10-10, albeit with a 3.32 ERA.
    Based on what Montero showed in 61 at bats for the Yankees last season (.328, four home runs), not to mention a different style (translated: more aggressive) of hitting than just about anyone on the Yankee roster, it would be hard to see Cashman parting ways with the 21-year old. As for Banuelos and Betances, maybe the idea is you pick the one you like best and trade the other before running the risk that he gets banged up and his trade value diminishes.”

    Seriously, I know many of us love Montero as fans but is there any way Garza could seriously cost Montero? I can’t even see asking for Montero other than “it can’t hurt ask” but Montero can’t be discussed further in any good faith negotiation.

  18. CJ says:

    I’m guessing Cashman has pissed off a few GM’s offering horrible deals. Why else do why hear “Cubs want Montero and Banuelos for Garza” that’s not a serious proposal, it may be other teams saying that’s how far Cashman is off in his proposal.

    • mbonzo says:

      More teams are dangling their young starting pitchers for insane returns because teams are willing to pay with such a bad free agent market. Epstein wants 3 top 50 prospects for 2 years of Garza? A guy who’s only had 1 season with a FIP below 4 and is starting to look at double digit arbitration numbers. The price of pitching is crazy.

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