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11/07/07 9:58 PM ET

Reliever Dotel joins free-agent field

Available players can start talking with other clubs Tuesday

ATLANTA -- Hoping to find a multi-year deal, Octavio Dotel opted to decline the $5.5 million option he had for next season. The Braves, who weren'’t interested in providing the right-handed reliever a multi-year contract, had been expected to decline this option.

Once he declined this option on Tuesday, Dotel filed for free agency.

Dotel heads into free agency coming off a season in which he spent a significant portion on the disabled list. In 33 combined games with the Royals and Braves, he converted 11 of 15 save opportunities, posted a 4.11 ERA and allowed opponents a .242 batting average.

After signing with the Royals last December, Dotel had his sights on becoming the effective closer he'd been before undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery in 2005. But a strained right oblique muscle suffered in Spring Training prevented him from making his season debut until May 23.

Dotel was acquired by the Braves in exchange for Kyle Davies on July 31. Just five appearances into his stint with Atlanta, he began experiencing right shoulder discomfort. The ailment sidelined him for more than six weeks.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.