Dodgers get Dotel for McDonald, Lambo

Updated: July 31, 2010, 7:39 PM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers added one final piece to their trading-deadline haul, bolstering their bullpen by acquiring veteran reliever Octavio Dotel from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Dodgers sent reliever James McDonald and highly touted outfield prospect Andrew Lambo to the Pirates.

Dotel, 36, is an 11-year major league veteran who has a 4.28 ERA in 41 appearances for the Pirates this season. Dotel was closing for the Pirates and had recorded 21 saves this season, but it isn't immediately clear where he will fit into a Dodgers bullpen that already has an All-Star closer in Jonathan Broxton and an All-Star setup man in Hong-Chih Kuo.

Dotel was in his first season with the Pirates after signing a one-year, $3.5 million free-agent deal last winter that pays him a base salary this season of $3.25 million and carries a $4.5 million club option for next season with a $250,000 buyout. The Pirates also sent the Dodgers $500,000 in cash to cover most of the remainder of Dotel's contract.

There was a clause in Dotel's deal that automatically converted the club option to a mutual option in the event of a trade, meaning Dotel could simply opt for free agency in the fall even if the Dodgers want to exercise the option.

McDonald, 25, had long been considered one of the Dodgers' top pitching prospects but hadn't been able to gain a foothold in the major leagues despite being on the postseason roster each of the past two years. He had made one start this season after being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque on July 19, giving up four runs in five innings that night in a loss to the San Francisco Giants. After that lone start, McDonald was moved to the bullpen, where he had a 10.11 ERA in three appearances.

Lambo, who will turn 22 next week, has long been considered one of the Dodgers' top outfield prospects. But he fell out of favor somewhat when he was suspended for 50 games earlier this season under baseball's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program after testing positive for a drug of abuse, which multiple sources have identified as marijuana.

Lambo was hitting .271 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 47 games for Double-A Chattanooga.

Earlier on Saturday, the Dodgers acquired left-handed starter Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot from the Chicago Cubs for second baseman Blake DeWitt and minor league pitchers Kyle Smit and Brett Wallach.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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