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The all-teammate team showdown: Edwin Jackson vs. Octavio Dotel

Jackson and Dotel have had lengthy MLB careers, allowing us to field lineups made up of only their teammates that resemble All-Star teams.

Washington Nationals v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

No player in Major League Baseball history has played for more franchises than relief pitcher Octavio Dotel, who played for 13 different clubs over a 15-year MLB career. Dotel was a fine reliever; he had some good seasons, like in 2002, when he posted a 1.85 ERA over 97 13 innings, but he also had some tough ones, such as his 1999 season (5.38 ERA in 85 13 innings). Unfortunately, Dotel’s real claim to fame was nothing he ever did on the field. Rather, it’s that 13-team figure that has kept him relevant, even four years after his retirement.

But Dotel’s record may already be in jeopardy. When right-handed starter Edwin Jackson suited up for the Baltimore Orioles this season, he officially appeared in a Major League game with his twelfth team, coming just one team short of Dotel’s mark. The Orioles released him, and Jackson had the opportunity to tie the record, but he signed with the Nationals instead, a team he pitched with in 2012. Dotel’s record hasn’t been broken yet, or even tied, but at just 33, Jackson may still have the chance to do it in the future.

Because both Dotel and Jackson have played with so many different teams, they have had plenty of superstar teammates. Thanks to research compiled at The Baseball Gauge, I was able to easily find each of Dotel’s and Jackson’s best teammates of all-time. Let’s have them face off, head-to-head style, in the fight for all-teammate team superiority. Welcome to the first ever All-Teammate Team Game.

For ease, I’m going to refer to Jackson’s teammates as part of “Team Jackson,” and Dotel’s teammates as part of “Team Dotel.” Players will be selected according to multiple factors: fWAR since 2014, career fWAR, how many seasons they spent as a teammate of the player, and personal preference.

Starting Pitcher

Team Jackson: Max Scherzer

Both Jackson and Dotel have been teammates with “Mad Max,” and, in fact, Dotel has been teammates with Scherzer longer than his veteran counterpart. However, I gave Jackson the rights to Scherzer, mainly because he’s teammates with him now, but also because of Dotel’s other option: Clayton Kershaw.

Team Dotel: Clayton Kershaw

Dotel was teammates with Kershaw for just one season, in 2010, but that was the year when Clayton Kershaw truly became Clayton Kershaw. Building off of a very good 2009 season, Kershaw posted a 2.91 ERA and a 3.39 DRA over 204 13 innings in 2010, marking the first of four consecutive seasons of 200+ innings and a 4.5 fWAR or higher. Dotel never got to see peak Kershaw as a teammate, but he saw a pretty dang good version of him. He’ll get the nod.

Team Jackson’s complete rotation: Scherzer, Jake Arrieta, Jose Fernandez, Stephen Strasburg, Mark Buehrle.

Team Dotel’s complete rotation: Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Roy Oswalt, Roger Clemens, John Smoltz.

Advantage: Team Dotel

I had a tough time making this call because of recency bias; I don’t remember peak-Oswalt, peak-Clemens or peak-Smoltz, but I felt that their numbers likely outweighed Arrieta’s and Buehrle’s specifically. Arrieta hasn’t exactly been consistent since breaking out in 2015, and while Buehrle was consistent, he wasn’t ever a superstar. Smoltz is a Hall of Famer, Clemens should be twice over, and Oswalt had a nice peak. That’s why I give Dotel the edge here.


Team Jackson: Eric Gagne

Gagne was the best of a lot of underwhelming options for Team Jackson. He did post a 1.79 ERA with a 365:58 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 247 innings during a three-year stretch from 2002 to 2004, along with 152 total saves for his career. Gagne also won the National League Cy Young award in 2003 (though seemingly with some chemical assistance). He’s not a bad option, but outside of those three incredible years, there isn’t a lot to be a fan of.

Team Dotel: Mariano Rivera

Closers are stupid, but Team Dotel gets the greatest closer of all time. Dotel was teammates with Rivera in 2006.

Team Jackson’s complete bullpen: Gagne, Hector Rondon, Chris Sale, Brad Hand, Mychal Givens, Pedro Strop, J.J. Putz.

Team Dotel’s complete bullpen: Rivera, Billy Wagner, Brad Lidge, Huston Street, Bobby Jenks, Joaquin Benoit, Joakim Soria.

Advantage: Team Dotel

This one isn’t close. Dotel has a huge advantage with Rivera already, and he has the ability to add three more elite, consistent closers behind him in Wagner, Lidge and Street. Jackson’s best reliever might be Chris Sale, and while he would be a good rotation piece for him, when Sale was Jackson’s teammate, he was pitching exclusively out of the bullpen. I’m not willing to stretch him to the rotation here.


Team Jackson: Yadier Molina

I guess I didn’t realize this before now, but Jackson and Dotel were teammates of each other (!!!) in 2011 with the Cardinals. This means that they were both teammates with Yadier Molina. But since Jackson has only thrown to one great catcher, I’ll give him the rights to Molina. The 35-year-old and future Hall of Famer is best known for his defense, but he had a four year peak from 2011 to 2014 in which he slashed .307/.355/.461 in 523 games.

Team Dotel: Mike Piazza

Dotel gets the greatest offensive catcher of all-time on his roster. Piazza was a 12-time All-Star and hit 427 home runs, all while playing the most demanding defensive position on the field. It’s no surprise that he’s now in the Hall of Fame.

Advantage: Team Dotel

I’ll take Piazza over Molina because of his offense. Molina is a great defender, but like you will see throughout this article, I’m prioritizing offense because this hypothetical exhibition is just a single game, not a series, month or season. Offense plays up in short bursts. Thus, Mike Piazza.

First Base

Team Jackson: Albert Pujols

Since Jackson and Dotel were on the same Cardinals team in 2011, they were both also teammates with Albert Pujols, making it tough to decide who should get to start him. Again, I’m giving Jackson the benefit of the doubt here, mainly because he’s been swept out by Dotel through this entire article. Congrats Edwin Jackson, you’ve won some of my sympathy. Your reward is Albert Pujols.

Team Dotel: Jeff Bagwell

Dotel counters Jackson’s Pujols and raises him a Jeff Bagwell, giving him yet another Hall of Famer on his roster. Bagwell was just a four-time All-Star, but he was a great all-around player, collecting 2,314 career hits and 427 home runs.

Advantage: Team Jackson

Bagwell was a great player, but he just doesn’t compare to Pujols, who continues to climb up the home run leaderboards with 608 career bombs. Pujols is also a career .306/.388/.564 hitter. That’s insane. With the benefit of my doubt, Jackson takes his first spot here.

Second Base

Team Jackson: Jeff Kent

There is a real argument to be made that Kent — who Jackson was teammates with in 2005 — is a Hall of Fame-worthy player. He had 2,461 hits, 377 home runs and a lifetime .290/.356/.500 slash line over 17 seasons. He didn’t really break out until he was 30, hurting his counting stats and which will ultimately keep him out.

Team Dotel: Craig Biggio

While Kent isn’t in the Hall of Fame, Biggio is. Dotel was actually Biggio’s teammate for five seasons, which is a lot considering how often he bounced around. Biggio, though, was never a phenomenal player in any given season. He played 20 years in the big leagues, so he was able to reach the 3,000 hit plateau, but his .281/.363/.433 line isn’t a historically great one.

Advantage: Team Jackson

Like with the debacle at catcher, I’m picking Kent over Biggio here because we are playing a single hypothetical game, not a series or a month. In my mind, Kent has the ability to make a larger impact in a single game than Biggio does, mainly due to him having a slugging percentage that’s nearly 70 points higher. Considering the on-base drop-off isn’t huge, I’m going to value Kent here over Biggio. It’s not completely clear-cut though, and this could end up being one of the closest positional races we have.

Detroit Tigers v Oakland Athletics
Dotel in his last season, 2013, with the Tigers.
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Third Base

Team Jackson: Adrian Beltre

Beltre is the newest member of the 3,000 hit club and should be on his way to the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later. Jackson was actually teammates with Beltre way back at the beginning of his career, in 2003 and 2004. Beltre hit 48 home runs in the latter season, finishing second in the NL MVP race to Barry Bonds. He also has one of baseball’s best personalities. A great choice indeed.

Team Dotel: Miguel Cabrera

He might not have 3,000 hits (yet), but Cabrera is one of the greatest hitters alive. He’s having a tough year in 2017, but his 11 All-Star appearances, two MVPs and the 2012 Triple Crown are all very historic accomplishments for the Tigers’ star. He also has the highest active career batting average, at .318.

Advantage: Team Dotel

It’s hard for me to pick against Beltre, but Cabrera has had a better career. Beltre’s main “trick” (if you want to call it that) has been longevity, which won’t play up in a single-game exhibition. Cabrera’s average and power combination, however, will. Team Dotel takes this one, too.


Team Jackson: Andrelton Simmons

Simmons is enjoying a breakout offensive year in 2017, as he’s slashed .301/.355/.456 with 11 homers over 453 plate appearances. An .812 OPS is over 100 points higher than his career-average, and when coupled with his excellent defense, Simmons might be turning into a superstar. I’ll emphasize might be because it’s impossible to know if he will be able to keep this up long-term.

Team Dotel: Derek Jeter

Jeter is overrated, yes, but it’s hard to ignore 3,456 hits. It’s especially hard to ignore his career .310/.377/.440 slash line, which is good for an .817 OPS. His defense isn’t as good as advertised, but that’s okay; even a subpar shortstop is very good, if they hit like Jeter did. He’s also a leader on the field, if you’re into the team chemistry stuff.

Advantage: Team Dotel

Jeter’s career OPS is better than Simmons’ 2017 OPS alone, giving Jeter a huge advantage offensively. Simmons is the better defensive shortstop, but it’s hard to pick against The Captain, especially given the general uncertainty around defensive metrics. The most tangible data we have are their offensive numbers, where Jeter is significantly better. He gets a pass on his defense, for now.


Team Jackson: Carl Crawford, Curtis Granderson, Bryce Harper

Jackson’s outfield has a great combination of hitting, speed and power. Crawford once averaged 54 stolen bases over a five year span. Harper is a young, excellent baseball player who doesn’t need a lot of introducing. Granderson might have some gray hair on him now, but at his best, he was a 40-homer outfielder that finished fourth in AL MVP voting in 2011.

Team Dotel: Lance Berkman, Andrew McCutchen, Jose Bautista

Dotel’s outfield is an interesting combination. McCutchen might be his best outfielder, as he does have an NL MVP under his belt, but Berkman and Bautista each provide lots of power at the corners. Berkman was also a career .293/.406/.537 hitter, which is insane. I didn’t realize he was that great of an all-around hitter, too.

Advantage: Team Jackson

Maybe it’s recency bias, but I just like Jackson’s outfield better. It’s especially hard for me to pick against Harper. I guess, in my mind, I view Harper as the best of the six outfielders and rank the rest of them in this order:

  1. Harper
  2. McCutchen
  3. Berkman
  4. Granderson
  5. Crawford
  6. Bautista

It might really be recency bias.

I looked at a total of eight categories. How did the score turn out?

Team Dotel: 5

Team Jackson: 3

It turned out to be pretty close. I love Team Dotel’s bullpen, and I’m not sure any player would be able to get a hit off of any of them. His infield is rock solid, but the outfield might be his biggest weakness. Still, though, he has a great-looking team. It’s hard to believe that he was teammates with every single player on his roster. I guess that’s what happens when you play 15 years in the league with 13 different teams.

Team Jackson isn’t too shabby either, and once again, it’s hard to believe he was once teammates with all of those players. His biggest weaknesses are out in the bullpen and behind the plate, but Adrian Beltre and Albert Pujols at the corners is a scary thought. His team, too, looks like it could be an All-Star team.

This was fun, but it might not be over. Edwin Jackson becomes a free agent yet again this offseason, and as long as he continues to look okay in Washington, he might find himself somewhere else — and with different teammates — in 2018.

Devan Fink is a Featured Writer at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter @DevanFink.