- Molly Knight
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."
In ESPN The Magazine, Molly Knight explores MLB's broken free agency compensation system.