Mets Hot on Dotel?

Anthony Di Como is reporting that the Mets may be “in the running” for reliever Octavio Dotel.

If so, they’re at least a year too late — and probably, still a dollar too short.

The Mets needed Dotel in July 2010, when their bullpen was a disaster and postseason hopes were quickly slipping down the drain. Though, Dotel by himself likely wouldn’t have made that much of a difference in the second half of that season. But what if they had signed him as a free agent prior to the beginning of 2010 — instead of hoping and wishing for Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi to bridge the gap to closer Francisco Rodriguez?

Interestingly, Dotel had the Mets atop his list as of September 2009, when it was clear he’d be entering the free agent market. But, even 2010 was “too late” for the Mets to bring Dotel back to Flushing — the time they really, really needed him was 2008 (check out that link, there’s another interesting character suggested), when the Mets bullpen began thin and ended even thinner — remember Luis Ayala closing games as Jerry Manuel successfully led the Mets to a second straight September collapse? You know, the year the Mets were “overachievers”. But what do we know? We’re just fans with wild ideas.

Why cry over spilled milk? Shouldn’t we be happy that the Mets still have Robert Carson, who may one day become a middling middle reliever?

Here’s the thing: what if the Mets spent just a few more dollars prior to 2008, to sign Octavio Dotel instead of going on the cheap for Matt Wise and Brian Stokes? I know, we can play the “what if” game all day long — but if you look back to 2006, 2007, and 2008, when the Mets were “that close” to the brass ring, and had opportunities to acquire certain players that might have pushed them to the next level, but instead sat on their hands or went with the more economical option, you can see there was a consistent pattern that makes one wonder if the team’s leadership had a fear of success (or were just cheap). Since we have a long boring winter ahead of us, we’ll get into this in more depth soon enough, but I just wanted to set the kindling afire: part of the reason the Mets can’t spend now is because they wouldn’t spend before.

Your thoughts? Can you remember any examples that might support my case?

11-12 Offseason

About the Author

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.

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