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.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Paul July 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm
    Octavio Dotel wasn’t going to make a difference in 2010. I don’t know if Robert Carson will ever even pitch for the Mets, but I’d rather hang onto him than make a trade just to make the media/fans happy.

    Now if you want to beat up on the Mets/Minaya for not shopping veterans after the road trip disaster, I’ll be with you.

    • Joe Janish July 31, 2010 at 5:44 pm
      Thanks for summing up my 400-word post in three sentences!
  2. mic July 31, 2010 at 11:27 pm
    Sorry but u get a pass for sarcasm. No this was Absurd.
    2 YRS AGO
  3. mic July 31, 2010 at 11:34 pm
    Carson! Yeah nice prospect but Dotel is everything Valdes, Green and BP are NOT….an experienced closer/set up man with reliability………not only do the dodgers get him for nothing…but the Braves get Farnesworth…If it was not for GM flatulence the Mets would REALLY be competing for the post season.
  4. murph August 1, 2010 at 12:53 pm
    Dear Minaya,
    If you think the season is shot, you trade veterans for prospects.

    If you think you can make the playoffs, you trade prospects for veterans.

    If you are not sure what to do, you stand pat, and stare at the oncoming headlights, like a deer.

    Deer Minaya