Baltimore Sun

Impact of White Sox signing Dotel

The Chicago White Sox and right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel agreed on a two-year deal today worth $11 million. So what exactly does this mean for your fantasy team?

Well, it could have an effect on the fantasy value of several White Sox players, but not necessarily a big impact on Dotel's own fantasy value. The most important point to remember when considering Dotel's impact on your fantasy team is whether or not he stays healthy for the entire season. If he can't recover from a shoulder injury that limited his performance in 2007, then his impact on the White Sox will be nonexistent.


As the article mentions, Dotel will combine with Scott Linebrink, who was signed to a four-year deal in November, to provide the White Sox with two veteran right-handed setup men to hand leads over to closer Bobby Jenks.

Jenks finished tied for second in the American League with 40 saves last season. Considering the White Sox only had 72 wins last year, the number of saves for Jenks is quite impressive. With Dotel's experience as a closer throughout his career, the White Sox won't be forced to rely so heavily on Jenks at the end of ballgames.


If Dotel can stay healthy, he will give the White Sox an increased chance of holding leads in the late innings. This was a big problem for them last year because they registered 42 team saves in 65 opportunities. If they were able to protect half of those leads, then they would have finished above .500 and possibly challenged for a playoff spot. Dotel and Linebrink should cut down on the amount of blown saves in the bullpen, which will also increase the save opportunities for Jenks.

The addition of Dotel should also help the White Sox starting pitchers. While the veterans at the top of the rotation will be helped by another experienced arm at the back end of the bullpen, the biggest impact could be on young starters John Danks and Baltimore native Gavin Floyd.

With Linebrink, Dotel and Jenks protecting leads, the two young starters will only need to hold a lead for six innings in order to set themselves up for a victory. I'd definitely keep an eye on Danks and Floyd -- particularly Danks -- early in the season because they could be valuable pickups if they scoop up a couple of early-season victories thanks to the trio of relievers.

So, to sum everything up…

By signing with the White Sox instead of a team that would give him an opportunity to close (like the Orioles), Dotel basically sacrificed all of his fantasy value. His only fantasy value (unless Jenks gets hurt) is in the number of holds that he should pick up -- and that is if your league even counts this statistic.

However, the signing boosts the value of Jenks as a closer. It also gives your team a chance at some extra wins if you have Mark Buehrle, Javier Vazquez and Jose Contreras on your team. And finally, it could give you valuable midseason waiver options in young starters Danks and Floyd.