Should the New York Yankees Trade for Octavio Dotel?

July 1, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

Today, the calendar turned to July and the Yankees are in first place of the American League East division.


The Red Sox are just one game behind, and the Rays are two games behind the Bombers. The pennant race is heating up, and the Yankees are surely feeling the heat.

The Yankees offense has been fairly strong, despite being shut down by Cliff Lee and shut out by Felix Hernandez this week.

For instance, Robinson Cano’s MVP-type season just gave the Yankees another big bat in the middle of the lineup to go along with Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. Nick Swisher has turned into a great number two hitter, replacing the injured Nick Johnson and the departed Johnny Damon.

The starting pitching has also been fairly strong. Combined, the rotation is 40-21 after June 30.

However, the bullpen hasn’t been as strong as everyone hoped and thought.

Now, Mariano Rivera is still dominating at age 40 with a 2-1 record, 17 saves out of 18 chances and a 0.92 ERA. Rivera hasn’t been an issue for the Yankees in 2010.

It’s everyone else before him that has been an issue.

Joba Chamberlain was supposed to get back to dominating as Rivera’s setup man. Instead, he has a 1-3 record and a 5.29 ERA.

Chan Ho Park was brought in for veteran stability. A 1-1 record and a 6.95 ERA certainly does not bring in any stability whatsoever. In fact, if the Yankees were to cut Park, I would not shed a single tear.

Chad Gaudin was brought back to add depth to the bullpen considering he did very well for the Yankees in 2009. In 2010, he’s 0-3 with a 6.95 ERA, so he’s not helping.

Sergio Mitre has been decent when used in 12 appearances with a 2.88 ERA. But he’s hardly ever used.

Boone Logan has been called up, sent back down, and called back up several times this season, but really, he should just stay. He has shown that he can pitch well with a 3.93 ERA in 18 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts.

Damaso Marte is the other lefty on the Yankees, but that’s primarily what he is on the team for. When the Yankees pitch him in longer outings, generally, it doesn’t work out, which is why he has a 4.70 ERA in 15 innings pitched (27 appearances made.)

Lastly is David Robertson. In the beginning of the season Robertson struggled tremendously to the point where I thought he needed to be sent back down to the minors. His ERA got as high as 14.21 on May 5.

Since then, Robertson has gotten his ERA down to 5.04, struck out 20 batters and only allowed three runs in the 18 appearances he has made since May 5, which means Robertson looks like he is returning to his 2009 form.

But the Yankees still need help in the bullpen, especially with Park being terrible and Joba being hot and cold.

I have a solution that the Yankees could explore this month, with July 1 being 30 days before the trading deadline.

The Yankees should make another deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and re-acquire Octavio Dotel to add depth to their bullpen.

If the Yankees were to go this route, it would be the third year in a row the two teams would be making trades. In 2008, the Yankees traded for Marte and Xavier Nady. In 2009, the Yankees traded for Eric Hinske. It would be no surprise if the Yankees and Pirates were trading partners again.

In 2010, Dotel has been the Pirates closer, converting 16 saves out of 19 chances and has a 4.70 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched.

The Yankees had Dotel back in 2006, but he was hurt for most of the year, recuperating from elbow issues.

In 2008 and 2009, Dotel pitched very well for the White Sox, posting 3.76 and 3.32 ERA’s in each of his seasons with Chicago, so he knows how to pitch well in the American League.

Bringing Dotel back to the Yankees would add an experienced arm (36 years old) with closer capability to a team that will likely be in contention to make the postseason again and defend their World Series championship.

If Joba can’t get the job done as the setup man, Dotel might be able to, and so far his numbers are slightly better this season.

For all I know, this trade is just pure opinion, but I am throwing it out there for you the community to discuss. But, because the Yankees and Pirates have made deals over the last two seasons, a third one with the bullpen need could be likely in 2010.

This is the first day of July, so expect the trade rumors involving the Yankees, along with the rest of baseball, to start heating up.

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