Dotel to ink two-year deal with White Sox
Move expected to further stabilize last season's shaky bullpen
CHICAGO -- The White Sox took another step toward revamping their shaky 2007 bullpen by adding Octavio Dotel to the mix. The two-year, $11 million deal probably won't be announced until Tuesday or Wednesday, with a decision to be made by the team on removing a current player from the 40-man roster.
"It's just about done with the White Sox," said Dan Horwits, Dotel's agent, of the deal on Monday afternoon. "We are just finishing up the last details, but I don't foresee them causing any problems. And then he'll be part of the White Sox."
Dotel, who turned 34 this past Thanksgiving, has a 3.76 ERA with 82 saves during 428 career appearances. The hard-throwing right-hander has fanned 773 over 641 innings, including 41 strikeouts over 30 2/3 innings for the Royals and Braves in 2007.
Being part of the American League Central for two-thirds of the previous campaign gives Dotel a strong working knowledge of the division, as well as the White Sox as a team. He chose the South Siders, even though he will be working as a setup man for closer Bobby Jenks.
"He had places to go where he could close, and he had places to go where he was going to set up," said Dotel's agent, Dan Horwits, echoing comments he made to MLB.com on Friday. "But he wanted to go to a team that he thought could win for the next couple of years, along with the comfort level of knowing certain players on the team or in management, such as [manager] Ozzie [Guillen] himself.
"Those type of factors weighed out," Horwits added.
Bringing on Dotel gives the White Sox a solid core of four veteran relievers at the back of the bullpen, with free agent Scott Linebrink joining Jenks and left-hander Matt Thornton. Mike MacDougal, whose 2007 struggles were part of the reason for offseason relief change, could figure in the bullpen equation but also could be shopped by the White Sox.
During the final month of the 2007 season, pitching coach Don Cooper explained how he would like a couple of veteran arms added to the bullpen mix. Six combined years and $30 million later, the White Sox appear to have that upgrade.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.