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Rumor Mill: Octavio Dotel

The Cardinals are involved in a three-team race for the services of 2011 World Series and NLCS hero Octavio Dotel, according to Fox Sports.

The Tigers and National League Central Division foe Cincinnati are the other contenders.

I'd like to see Dotel back in a St. Louis uniform in 2012 for a couple of reasons. First, he was fantastic as a set-up man, especially serving as a healthy dose of kryptonite when used against National League superman Ryan Braun, winner of the 2011 NL MVP award. But also because, although Jason Motte did well in a quarter of a season plus the playoffs as closer, Dotel has the experience and skill to be Plan B if Motte falters or if he gets hurt.

I'm still not sure why the Cardinals didn't just pick up Dotel's reasonable option for next season. I don't think, when you count his buyout, that they're likely to save a whole lot of money by declining it and letting the pitcher hit the open market. And, after the mess we saw in the bullpen at the start of last season, I'd hate to see a team that should have what it takes to make a serious bid to defend its championship put itself behind the eight ball (again) by blowing games in the eighth and ninth.