Rockies decline $4.5 million option on Octavio Dotel for 2011

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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.

The first native Lithuanian in MLB history made his debut last night

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Why yes, it is a slow news day. But let’s not allow that to take away from some MLB history.

Last night a young man named Dovydas Neverauskas pitched in mopup duty for the Pirates, who were getting hammered by the Cubs. Mr. Neverauskas pitched two innings, allowing one run, making him, by default, the most effective pitcher the Pirates sent out there last night.

That’s good, but that’s not what makes it historic. What makes it historic is that Neverauskas is the first person born and raised in Lithuania to make the Majors. Here’s some back story on him from last year’s Futures Game.

Lithuania is known for producing basketball players. Now it has its first major leaguer. Whether he becomes baseball’s Arvydas Sabonis is an open question.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.