Because he was traded during the season Octavio Dotel had the right to reject his $4.5 million option if it was exercised, but the Rockies made that a moot point by choosing a $250,000 buyout instead.
Colorado acquired Dotel in mid-September and he wouldn’t have even been eligible for the playoff roster, so it’s no surprise that they declined the option. No, the real shocker with Dotel is that the Dodgers thought it was a good idea to trade a legitimately solid pitching prospect in James McDonald to get Dotel on July 31, only to basically give him away to the Rockies two months later.
McDonald posted a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts for the Pirates and figures to be one of Pittsburgh’s best starters for years to come, while Dotel logged all of 19 innings for the Dodgers, threw another five frames for the Rockies, and is now a free agent.
While giving up McDonald for him was a terrible idea that only got worse, Dotel still has very good raw stuff and even at age 36 had one of the highest strikeout rates in baseball. His problem tends to be keeping the ball in the ballpark, serving up 28 homers in 193 innings over the past three seasons, but he should be able to find a one-year deal as a setup man on the open market.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.