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Mets Free Agency Rumors: Octavio Dotel Could Return To Queens

The New York Mets struggled to plug the non-stop holes in their bullpen last season and have their eye on a familiar name to help fix that early this offseason.  General manager Sandy Alderson is making a strong play for St. Louis Cardinals reliever Octavio Dotel, according to MLB.com.

Dotel was signed by the Mets as an international free agent back in 1993 and made his debut as a 25-year-old starter in 1999. His rookie year in New York the righty had a record of 8-3 with a 5.38 ERA in 85.1 innings pitched.  It's sometimes forgotten that he was warming up in the bullpen during Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS when Kenny Rogers was walking in the series-clinching run against the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets traded Dotel the following offseason to the Houston Astros along with Roger Cedeno to bring Mike Hampton -- and his love of the school systems -- to New York.

Throughout his career, Dotel has been all over the league, playing for 11 teams -- including the crosstownNew York Yankees -- and had as many as 36 saves in a season (2004) after making the transition to a reliever.

It's not often a team will look towards a 38-year-old to solve their problems, but Dotel perfectly fits what the Mets need. There are few players from last year's horrendous bullpen that are guaranteed to be back and coming off a season in which he had a 3.58 ERA, 62 strikeouts and three saves in 54 innings for the Toronto Blue Jays and Cardinals, Dotel immediately would become the favorite to step in as the Mets closer.

Per the report, the Mets are joined in their pursuit of Dotel by St. Louis, the team he helped to win the World Series last season.