When it comes to free agency, playing too well could cost you
A version of this story appears in the Oct. 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
If only Octavio Dotel had pitched a bit worse in 2011, his job prospects would be brighter.
Following a season in which the righthanded reliever had a 3.50 ERA, MLB classified him as a Type A free agent -- putting him in the same top tier as Albert Pujols. That means that if the champs offer either player arbitration, technically guaranteeing a contract, any team that signs him away would have to give the Cards a first- or second-round draft pick as compensation. That's a small price for Pujols but a huge one for a 37-year-old ex-closer. As a result, there won't be much demand for Dotel, despite his 14 K's in 101/3 playoff innings.
"Guys deemed Type A's shouldn't be hurt by their performance," says Dotel's agent, Dan Horwits. "I expect to see some change in the next collective bargaining agreement."
For more on MLB's broken free agency compensation system, become an ESPN Insider today!
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Dice-K defends Mets' Warthen after his slur
- Phils' Rollins: No idea why I'm benched
- Rays tab ace Price to start opener vs. Jays
- Pineda in control again, holds Orioles scoreless
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
ESPN The Magazine: November 28, 2011