Free-agent right-hander Octavio Dotel pitched well for the White Sox in 2008 and '09, the last time he was in the American League. The Blue Jays evidently believe that at age 37, he can close successfully in the AL East.
The Jays, facing the loss of right-hander Kevin Gregg along with lefty Scott Downs, are "getting closer" to a one-year agreement with Dotel, according to a major-league source. The deal would be for approximately the same $3.5 million that Dotel made last season, the source said.
Dotel began 2010 with the Pirates after signing a free-agent contract. The Pirates traded him to the Dodgers on July 31, and the Dodgers flipped him to the Rockies on Sept. 18. Dotel converted 21 of 26 save opportunities with the Pirates. In 64 combined innings with the three clubs, he had a 4.08 ERA.
The Jays likely are intrigued that Dotel continues to strike out hitters at a high rate. He has averaged 11.37 strikeouts per nine innings the past four seasons, the fourth-highest rate in the majors behind Carlos Marmol, Billy Wagner and Jonathan Broxton. However, his walk rate is high and he struggles against left-handed hitters.