At the 1977 winter meetings, the Angels sent Dotson, their first-round pick that June, to the White Sox in a headline-grabbing, six-player deal for outfielder Brian Downing. Dotson reached Chicago late in 1979, tied for the AL lead with four shutouts in the strike-shortened 1981 season, but truly blossomed in 1983. While becoming the youngest White Sox pitcher in 70 years to record 20 victories (following Reb Russell in 1913), his 22-7 mark helped Chicago to a major-league high 99 wins and the club’s first playoff berth since 1959. Between the ’83 and 1984 All-Star Games, he went 25-6.
Dotson missed most of 1985 with a circulatory problem near his right shoulder that required surgery. He struggled upon his return in 1986, losing a league-high 17 games with a 5.48 ERA. During the 1987 winter meetings, Chicago sent him to the Yankees for outfielder Dan Pasqua, whom they had long coveted.