Fantasy Values Fluctuate As Dotel Joins Braves

by Andrew Stewart on July 31, 2007 @ 16:00:00 PDT


The Atlanta Braves have acquired relief pitcher Octavio Dotel from the Kansas City Royals for starting pitcher Kyle Davies.

Dotel's best season came in 2004, when he saved 36 games while playing for the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics. Dotel injured his throwing elbow in 2005; he missed most of the 2005 and 2006 seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. However, Dotel proved this year that he is still worth a spot on fantasy rosters, converting 11 of 14 save opportunities as the closer for the Royals. Dotel is still an injury risk, as he missed almost two months this season while sidelined with an oblique strain.

Even though Dotel will almost certainly not claim the closing role in Atlanta upon his arrival, it is recommended owners hang on to Dotel in the meantime, at least in the short term. Braves closer Bob Wickman has struggled at times this season, as he has a 4.21 ERA and five blown saves. The Braves likely dealt for Dotel as insurance in case Wickman falters, but he'll be used a top setup man for now. If Wickman doesn't perform in pressure situations down the stretch, Dotel could step into the closing role.

As for the team Dotel left behind, it is all but certain that Kansas City relief pitcher Joakim Soria will take over as the Royals' full-time closer. Soria closed games for the Royals earlier this season while Dotel was on the disabled list and filled in nicely. This season, Soria has earned 10 saves and nine holds; he also has three blown saves. He sports a 1-3 record with a 2.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He is available in approximately 37 percent of leagues polled, so there is a chance he is available on the waiver wire. If Soria is available, pick him up as soon as possible - he will not last long.

Davies is a minor fantasy part in this deal. Those in AL-only leagues may want to take a look at the right-hander. He is 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, so expectations shouldn't be too high. However, Royals general manager Dayton Moore was an assistant in Atlanta, so he is familiar with Davies. Moore is attempting to build a solid foundation for his organization, and he has already had some success with other pitching additions. For this season, Davies isn't more than a cheap acquisition in AL-only leagues, though.

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About Andrew Stewart

Andrew Stewart has been a Hot off the Wire Analyst for KFFL since 2007.

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