Mets Don’t Acquire Octavio Dotel
The Mets have finally not made a move, by not trading a minor league pitcher to the Pirates for Octavio Dotel.
With the Mets in need of reinforcements for the stretch run, GM Omar Minaya has not added an arm to the bullpen.
Jon Heyman is reporting that the Mets declined a trade that would have netted Octavio Dotel for minor leaguer Robert Carson. Carson is a big-bodied, 21-year-old lefthanded pitcher who touches 92 MPH — that in itself defines him as having some kind of potential. There are two angles buzzing around to the Mets’ refusal to part with Carson; the detractors scream about his 9.60 ERA over 3 starts in AA, while his supporters quote Kevin Goldstein’s preseason quote citing Carson as a “sleeper”. Who’s right? Who knows? Point is, Carson is an A-ball pitcher with an uncertain future — exactly the type of prospect that a team must give up to get a proven MLB veteran such as Dotel. At least 75% of the time, the prospect doesn’t make it past AAA (Evan MacLane), and about 3% of the time the youngster turns into an All-Star (Scott Kazmir, John Smoltz). In other words, it’s a crapshoot. Teams that are “buying”, and looking for the final pieces of a championship puzzle, are more likely to roll the dice. The Mets seem not to be sure whether they are buyers right now, and I can’t blame them. While Dotel would be an immediate upgrade over nearly every other member of their bullpen, he probably wouldn’t be a difference-maker — the team has other significant, unfillable holes that will keep them from getting over the Phillies and Braves.
So if the Mets are not “buyers”, are they “sellers”? Certainly not — the organization fears that publicly “throwing in the towel” on the season would result in poor attendance in August and September. They would much rather hope against hope that the current configuration can go on a miraculous streak and make a semi-serious run at the Wild Card — in turn selling plenty of tickets over the last eight weeks of the season.
By the way, here is a video of Robert Carson from this past May, courtesy of Scouting the Sally:
He certainly is a big, durable-looking kid. I like that he stays on a straight line toward the target (Isaac Newton had some good ideas) and he keeps his motion simple and compact. I’d like it even more if he committed his hips a hair later, stretched out that stride a few more inches, and pulled himself forward with that front leg. It appears he can take more advantage of his height and get his release point a little further forward. But he’s still young and can learn these things with the right coaching and repetition.