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.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.