|The Dodgers made a late move to add a reliever just before the 4 p.m. ET deadline for trades without waivers, acquiring Octavio Dotel from the Pirates in exchange for outfielder Andrew Lambo and righthander James McDonald. Pittsburgh also kicked in $500,000.
Lambo and McDonald ranked 1-2 on Baseball America’s Dodgers Top 10 Prospects list entering the 2009 season, but both had fallen out of favor in Los Angeles. Lambo drew a 50-game suspension May 1 for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, while McDonald failed to make the Dodgers out of spring training and hasn’t pitched well in relief since joining the big league club in mid-July.
Dotel, who signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh as a free agent last offseason, had 21 saves for the Pirates and will serve as a set-up man to Jonathan Broxton in Los Angeles. Dotel shores up a weakness for the Dodgers, who have lacked an effective righthanded bridge to Broxton.
|James McDonald, rhp
Born: Oct. 19, 1984 in Long Beach.
Ht.: 6-5. Wt.: 195. Bats: L. Throws: R.
School: Golden West (Calif.) JC.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in 11th round of 2002 draft; signed May 26, 2003.
McDonald threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Phillies in the 2008 National League Championship Series and spent most of 2009 in the majors, but he couldn’t find his niche with the Dodgers this season. All three of his pitches—fastball, curveball, changeup—can be average or better at times, and his fastball can hit 94 mph. But he has battled his command and has lacked consistency with his secondary pitches, and thus hasn’t been nearly as effective as he could be. He should get a better opportunity to crack the big league rotation in Pittsburgh than he did in Los Angeles.
|Andrew Lambo, lf
Age: 21. Position: LF (38 G), RF (5 G).
Born: Aug. 11, 1988 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 190. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Newbury Park (Calif.) HS.
Career Transactions: Selected by Dodgers in fourth round of 2007 draft; signed June 13, 2007.
Lambo reached Double-A as a 19-year-old in 2008, but his play had tailed off at that level the last two seasons. He has the tools to be an effective hitter, including a short swing, an all-fields approach, good pitch recognition and average power, but has batted just .219/.278/.314 since returning from his suspension. With below-average speed and arm strength, he’s limited to left field, though he shows decent instincts there.
|Octavio Dotel, rhp
Age: 36. Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $3.25 million salary, plus $4.5 million club option for ’11 ($500,000 buyout, which is same amount included by Pirates in deal).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.