Octavio Dotel would register among the least significant pickups in Colorado Rockies history if not for one major, and very much ongoing, caveat.
The journeyman reliever arrived in mid-September 2010. He appeared in just eight games – seven of which were Rockies losses – and threw just 34 pitches in 1 2/3 innings at Coors Field.
But here’s where things get interesting. Dotel, then 37, was still good enough to be classified as a Type-B free agent after the 2010 season. Toronto promptly signed him to a $3.5 million, one-year deal.
As compensation for his departure, the Rockies were given the No. 45 overall pick in the 2011 draft.
With it, the Rockies selected Trevor Story.
On Wednesday, Story banged three home runs, including the longest recorded in the Statcast era (505 feet). Story’s OPS of .920 would be the highest recorded by a shortstop this century – with the exception of the man he replaced, Troy Tulowitzki, who topped that mark three times while with Colorado.
Story, 25, also has 31 home runs to go with a league-best 39 doubles and 300 total bases. He’s stolen a team-high 25 bases and, according to Baseball-Reference.com, his 5.0 Wins Above Replacement is slightly higher than teammate Nolan Arenado’s 4.7.
All this for allowing Octavio Dotel to walk following eight appearances after he had been acquired by the Dodgers for a minor league utility player (Anthony Jackson) who never advanced beyond Double-A.
Remarkably, Story is just one of four All-Stars to have been traded for Dotel, who shuffled between 13 franchises in his 15-year career. Story joins a list that includes Carlos Beltran, John Buck and Mike Hampton (in his pre-Rockies days). Standouts Derek Bell, Colby Rasmus and Mark Teahen were also shipped in deals for Dotel.
Dotel’s acquisition did not help the Rockies in 2010, as they pulled of a sort of reverse-Rocktober, dropping 13 of their final 14 games to finish 83-79 and in third place in the NL West.
Perhaps an acquisition made possible by Dotel can help the Rockies this time as they look to hold a rare September lead in the division.