Based on their records it’s tough to tell which team is the buyer and which team is the seller here, but the 57-59 Red Sox have traded catcher Kelly Shoppach to the 55-60 Mets for a player to be named later.
Shoppach is an impending free agent, so the Mets are apparently picking him up in the hopes he can help them close what is a 9.5-game deficit for the Wild Card. Or something.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox are parting with Shoppach because they have minor leaguer Ryan Lavarnway waiting in the wings to fill the “part-time catcher who crushes left-handed pitching” role as the backup for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Shoppach was a nice offseason pickup for the Red Sox, hitting .250 with five homers and a .798 OPS in 48 games after signing a one-year, $1.35 million deal as a free agent. He’ll split time with the left-handed-hitting Josh Thole in New York.
Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.
That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.
Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.
Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.