It's officially official: Octavio Dotel will be a Pirate for at least part of 2010. There's no word on terms, except that the contract is for a year with a club option for 2011. I'm mostly happy because I've written several posts assuming that this signing would happen and if it didn't, I'd have wasted about a thousand words (DISCLAIMER: If you add up the WHYGAVS archives since 2005, I've written exponentially more about the most futile baseball team in the history of baseball) on a signing that didn't happen.
That means that I'm repeating myself when I say that I think Dotel is a good signing, assuming that he's not making anything particularly close to his $6 million 2009 salary (if it's more than half of that, I won't be pleased). He's always racked up huge strikeout numbers when healthy and after a few lost years in the mid '00s (DIGRESSION: The "aughts" is way too antiquated and the "naughties" is way too cute. Can I nominate "The Ohhhhhhs" as the official name for this decade? Every year was "Oh-Eight" or "Oh-Nine" so why not just call the decade the "Ohs?" It'd be kind of funny and at least a little sad, and when it's all said and done I think that's how a lot of people feel about 2000-2009.) he's been very good for the White Sox in the past two seasons. At the very least he gives Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan some competition at the end of the bullpen and at the most.
In any case, there's a corresponding roster move to come when Dotel officially signs tomorrow or Friday, and after that happens we can discuss whether or not the signing all of these relievers hurts Kevin Hart or Dan McCutchen in the long run. Until then, consider that how busy the Pirates have been this winter (traded for for Akinori Iwamura and signed Bobby Crosby, Ryan Church, Brendan Donnelly, and Octavio Dotel, plus DJ Carrasco and his minor league deal) and that the most significant player that's been blocked by their said busy-ness will be Kevin Hart or Dan McCutchen.
There's not a Joe Randa signing blocking a Freddy Sanchez to be found. Baby steps.