Capps To Select Finalists Soon

SATURDAY, 7:13pm: Capps confirmed to ESPN Radio Chicago today that he has had preliminary discussions with the Cubs about joining the club.

THURSDAY, 6:26pm: The Washington Nationals are one of Capps' finalists, reports's Bill Ladson. Of all the interested teams, Washington should provide one of the clearest paths to a closing role for Capps.

4:51pm: The Pirates non-tendered reliever Matt Capps Saturday night, and roughly half the teams in baseball have inquired.  Pirates GM Neal Huntington explained the non-tender decision in an chat today:

Despite wanting to retain Matt and making an aggressive offer that we believed would be at or near his free-agent value prior to the tender deadline, we felt that the risk of an arbitration award at a substantially higher amount was not a good business decision for us…Obviously, we would have preferred to get something of value in trade for Matt, but given his track record beginning in the second half of 2008, his trade value was limited throughout the summer and again this offseason.

Capps may be able to find a two-year deal.  While he'd like to close, his agent Paul Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'd accept a set-up role with a contender.  The following teams have been linked to Capps: the D'Backs, Cubs, Orioles, Rangers, Rockies, Marlins, Nationals, Mets, Tigers, and Yankees (we're still about six teams short, five if you count the Pirates).  Kinzer told Rosenthal Capps "plans to select five or six finalists by the weekend, then make his decision."

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