Acquired for Kyle Davies, when (as I’ve stated before) I’d have taken anything for Davies at this point, so I’m pretty happy. As a starter, Dotel was a hot prospect in the Mets chain in the late nineties, but didn’t pitch well in his callup in 1999. After the season, the Mets traded him to the Astros as part of a package for Mike Hampton and Derek Bell. He didn’t do well as a starter in Houston either, but they converted him to relief when Billy Wagner was hurt and struggling, and Dotel saved 16 games.
Wagner was back at full strength in 2001, and Dotel moved to the setup role, where for the next two seasons he was the best reliever in baseball. Over two seasons (including four starts in 2001) he threw 202 1/3 innings, struck out 263, went 13-9 with eight saves, and put up a 2.27 ERA. His control wasn’t the greatest, but when you’re only allowing six hits per nine innings a few walks won’t kill you. He was still very good in 2003, and moved into the closer role after Wagner’s departure in 2004, saving fourteen games before being traded to the A’s during the season as part of the Beltran deal.
It didn’t really work out for him in Oakland, and he was having some arm issues at this point. He threw only 15 innings in 2005 and was allowed to leave as a free agent. He threw ten disastrous innings for the Yankees in 2006, and was let go by them, signing with the Royals. He missed most of the early season with arm injuries, but came back in late May. He pitched pretty well, eleven saves and a 3.91 ERA in a hitter’s park, and struck out 29 in 23 innings. He still doesn’t have the greatest control.