A's Aquire Closer Dotel

The Oakland A's shored up their bullpen on Thursday by acquiring the hard throwing closer Octavio Dotel from the Houston Astros as part of a three team deal.

A media exclusive Oakland Athletics conference call, which took place at 6:30 p.m., confirmed that infact that Houston closer Octavio Dotel is to be shipped to the A's for prospects, while centerfielder Carlos Beltran moves to Houston.

The A's received Dotel and cash, not believed to be more than $1 million, in the deal. Kansas City received A's prospects Mark Teahen and Mike Wood, as well as Houston prospect John Buck, for Carlos Beltran. The Astros received Beltran.

Teahen was the A's best third base prospect, an excellent fielder with a good stick. Teahen has exhibited good patience and power this season, which was split between AA and AAA. Starter Mike Wood was in the midst of an excellent year in Sacramento, posting an 11-3 record with an ERA under 3.00. Wood is a finesse thrower, however, and had not been effective in his major league debut in Oakland last September.

Dotel should bolster an A's bullpen which had racked up an ERA that was fourth worst in the league and had blown 14 saves. He is arbitration eliglible next season, and should give the A's bullpen some stablility through 2005.

When asked if current A's closer Arthur Rhodes is now officially the set-up man, A's general manager Billy Beane refused to label Dotel as the new closer, merely stating that "we now have a better committee."

He didn't indicate whether or not Dotel was to be in uniform by tomorrow or when they expected him to arrive in Oakland. The A's take on their cross-town rivals, the San Francisco Giants, for a three-game home series this weekend.

When asked why he decided not to keep Beltran for the A's, Beane mentioned that he is very happy with current centerfielder Mark Kotsay and that the team had more pressing needs to address in the bullpen.

The early trade rumors picked up steam last week as A's owner Steve Schott witnessed first hand both in St. Louis and Chicago the A's 'pen blowing games. After that Schott gave Beane the go ahead and stated he would increase payroll to fix the glaring problem.

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