Mariners, Red Sox In Talks With Chris Capuano

6:20pm: The Red Sox are also talking with Capuano, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Boston recently learned that rotation option Ryan Dempster would take the year off, reducing the team's depth but also relieving it of the obligation to pay him.

Of course, the Red Sox are likely not in a position to promise Capuano a regular turn in the rotation. As Rosenthal tweets, the team is interested in a "swing type" pitcher that is capable of throwing both as a starter and in relief.

9:19am: MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo tweets that the Marlins and White Sox have also been in touch with Capuano this winter.

7:40am: The Mariners are showing "decent interest" in southpaw Chris Capuano, and talks between the two sides are ongoing, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Heyman writes that Capuano has been seeking a two-year deal, though it's not clear if that is still his goal or if his price has come down.

Capuano, 35, battled calf and lat injuries in 2013, and he also was relegated to the bullpen for a portion of the season as a result of the Dodgers' starting pitching depth. The result was a total of just 105 2/3 innings — 92 2/3 fewer than he threw in 2012. In his two years with L.A., Capuano posted a 3.91 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 304 innings of work. His 46.4 percent ground-ball rate in 2013 was his best mark since 2003 when he threw just 33 innings, though it wasn't reflected in his ERA due to struggles in stranding baserunners (68.9 percent) and an abnormally high .334 BABIP.

Heyman writes that the Mariners also had discussions with Ubaldo Jimenez prior to his four-year, $50MM deal with the Orioles, and they've been in talks with Ervin Santana as well. However, signing Capuano to augment their rotation instead of Santana would leave additional funds to add another bat, such as Kendrys Morales or Nelson Cruz.


63 Responses to Mariners, Red Sox In Talks With Chris Capuano Leave a Reply

  1. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    4.27 ERA in the NL, that will not be pretty in the AL. He’ll be cut by the All Star break.

    • docmilo5 1 year ago

      He might not make it out of spring training. I wouldn’t sign the guy on anything but an NRI. Give him a very good sized bonus if the makes it on the MLB team out of spring. Very big. Give him innings in the MLB camp and let him duke it out with Scott Baker. Iwakuma is going to miss a little bit of the start of the year, but I don’t see Capuano beating out Paxton or Walker for the back of the rotation. If Paxton doesn’t bring his A game, sure. I just don’t see that happening.

      • Seamaholic 1 year ago

        He’s much better than that. I don’t think you’ve seen him pitch.

        • docmilo5 1 year ago

          No I haven’t. But, he’s getting old and has had injury issues. The question is, is he better than Paxton, Walker or Iwakuma? I’m not sure. Then question 2 is he better than Scott Baker? Maybe, maybe not. If I’m not sure he’s better than what I have right now, I give him an NRI. Felix seems to thing Paxton and Walker are in the rotation, what ever that’s worth.

          • trenigro 1 year ago

            Scott Baker hasn’t pitched in 2 years… Baker is the NRI caliber player, not Capuano.

          • docmilo5 1 year ago

            They both are NRI caliber players. Teams hit Capuano at the tune of a .295 BAA last year and he had a 1.41 whip. Those numbers are worse than Joe Saunders last year and Saunders played in the AL. No thank you very much.
            Capuano, Baker, there can be only one.
            I’ll let Erasmo cover for Iwakuma until he’s back in week 2 or 3. He has options. I’m not cutting 2 guys off my 40 man roster and paying a MLB salary for both of Baker and Capuano. If Capuano wants an MLB gig, he can find it somewhere else or beat out Scott Baker.
            The Mariners have more and more kids filling their 40 man every year. There are a few guys you can DFA, but I value youth over old guys like Capuano and Baker long term.

          • trenigro 1 year ago

            Teams need more than 5 SPs to get through a season and right now the M’s only have one that can truly be counted on in Felix. If they go into the season with only Felix, Kuma (injured), Walker (rookie), Paxton (rookie), Erasmo (unproven) and bad NRI’s, then the rotation is flirting with disaster again just like last year. Remember how they banked on Maurer and Beavan to start the season in the rotation with no fallback options?

            Capuano is a lot better than you think he is and you’ll be pleasantly surprised if he does get signed by the M’s. As a #4 or 5 starter he is solid. Also that .289 BAA and 1.41 WHIP were career highs thanks to an unlucky career high BABIP last year (due to a 1.8% IFFB%). Capuano is a good 1-2 WAR pitcher that hasn’t yet lost his stuff and pitches with solid command. He’s not Joe Saunders and hasn’t missed the past 2 seasons like Scott Baker. Jacky Z would be wise to add him on a 1 year deal.

    • trenigro 1 year ago

      His FIP and xFIP last year were only 3.55 and 3.67 so his ERA should’ve been lower if not for some bad luck with a high BABIP. Capuano can still pitch and is very underrated. I’d take a guy with solid control, some strike out ability and no HR issues, to pitch in one of the best pitchers parks any day of the week. Hopefully it gets done and on the cheap.

      • docmilo5 1 year ago

        We won’t know if Safeco is still one of the better pitchers parks for another year or two. They brought the fences in quite a bit and the numbers are still out.
        BABIP could be one of many things. Two things off the top of my head is 1) He had awful defense. 2) People hit him really hard. When you lose a tic, guys hit the ball harder and they get past fielders faster than they can field them. I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this comp, I did before… When Richie Sexson lost it, he had a bad BABIP. Guys were just saying he had an unlucky year. The truth was when you hit weak grounders to SS vs mashing balls past them… it’s not luck.
        If Capuano can beat out Baker, fine. If he can’t, I’m not giving him an MLB contract.

        • trenigro 1 year ago

          Capuano’s BABIP was high because he only had a 1.8% Infield Fly Ball percentage which was absurdly low and abnormal. He’s never had lower than 9.8% before and has a career avg of 12.8%. Without all of those freebie outs, his BABIP ballooned to a career high.

          He also actually had a career high avg velocity in his fastball last season. He may be 35 but his “stuff” hasn’t really dropped off yet.

          • Edgar4evar 1 year ago

            This is really good analysis. Thanks!

      • Stevil 1 year ago

        Wish I had scrolled down before I responded to the original comment. Wouldn’t have been necessary to say anything. You’ve summed it up real well.

    • Stevil 1 year ago

      FIP was 3.55 with a GB rate of 46.4%. His K/9 was down, but so were his walks and HR’s.

      He’s a solid pitcher. Staying healthy would be the bigger concern.

  2. JN 1 year ago

    As long as he doesn’t take any time away from Walker or Paxton I don’t mind.

    • John Kreese 1 year ago

      Felix, Iwakuma, Walker, Paxton then a combo of Baker/Capuano. Whoever loses out can be the swing guy.

      • 王威評 1 year ago

        I can live with Baker/Capuano/Erasmo as 5th SP, then trade for a everyday CF.

        • docmilo5 1 year ago

          Wow. An everyday CF is going to be expensive. Who do you recommend? I say go with Saunder and keep the trade chips for a big ticket item later. Sure, maybe Kemp. Saunders was forced to play hurt last year because Guti was Guti and Morse got hurt. Saunders will surpass his 2012 season. I could easily see a .750 to a .775 OPS out of Saunders. Let’s see what HoJo can do with him. Johnson turned Ackley around in Tacoma last year. All the young kids talk very highly of him. Keep the chips for the trade deadline if the M’s are in the hunt.

          • Guest 1 year ago

            I think ackley and Saunders will both have much better seasons this year, just a gut feeling so granted we are used to being disappointed, but at least they have the skill set and talent to produce. Ideally I’d like those 2 to handle lf/rf, and we trade Smoak (along with ??) for a centerfielder – even if we use the $$ that could go to a Cruz/Morales to seal the deal. Problem is, who is under contract that we could get? Maybe b.gardner if we can neg. a deal past this year?

    • GD 1 year ago

      Remember Walker and Paxton both will still be on limited PC’s. Capauno also is a proven innings eater, and we also need another LHP for the BP.

      This would be a very decent signing all around, and one that isn’t going to cost $12.5m/yr for 4 yrs like Jimenez and Ervin Santana. I can’t deal with Ervin Santana’s inconsistencies and the 4 yr contract that he’s gonna get like Jimenez.

      • docmilo5 1 year ago

        Paxton should have no limits this year. He threw 175 innings last year and should be good for 200 this year. Walker threw 155 innings last year and should be solid for 185 innings. That’s easily done by skipping one or two starts here and there, maybe even a “DL” stint for a mystery ailment in July to give him a 2 week break.

        • Stevil 1 year ago

          Paxton threw 106 the year before and has battled injuries repeatedly. Walker is their most prized prospect. The team is going to be careful with both players, but even if they weren’t, expecting 185+ innings from each of them just isn’t realistic.

          • docmilo5 1 year ago

            Paxton is a little older than your typical rookie. Paxton was slowed by a knee in 2012, not an arm. Paxton will be limited by his command. If the kid can go from 106 IP to 175, there really shouldn’t be an issue with him bumping it up another 25 innings this year.
            As far as Walker, you tell the kid he can’t throw 185+ innings this year. I wouldn’t want to be standing with you. I would guess they skip a few starts once the summer rolls around to keep his number of starts down.
            What kind of an inning bump do you see as reasonable? I think I read over on the USSM years ago that a 30% increase is ideal. That would take Walker from 155 to 201.

          • Stevil 1 year ago

            I’m aware of Paxton’s injury history, hence referencing his injury history. He is older, but that doesn’t mean he’s more durable. He still has to be broken in like the rest of them.

            Going from 106 to 169.2 was pretty significant, but 145 of those innings were in AAA, and I’m not certain of the pitch counts for those innings, but it’s probably safe to assume the pitch counts will be higher at the ML level.

            I think increasing innings depends on the individual, primarily the average number of pitches thrown each inning. Going from 155 to 201 is huge–especially considering the level of competition and likely number of pitches to be thrown. I wouldn’t set a high bar, I’d simply monitor them carefully and improvise accordingly.

            Keep in mind, Walker and Paxton wont likely be needed (or expected) to go more than 160 anyway, given that they’ll likely be at the back end of the rotation, which makes a lot of this a moot point!

            But don’t get me wrong…. I’d love to see both players come out and dominate, work quickly through innings and keep the pen fresh. I just think it’s more likely they’ll have their struggles at time and that the M’s will be careful not to burn them out.

          • docmilo5 1 year ago

            CJ Wilson went from 73 IP in 2009 to 204 IP in 2010. Being a little older does make a difference. Growth plates and tendons are a little stronger and a little more durable.
            Yes, we all hope they are taken care of properly. It drove me nuts when the M’s worked Pineda to death that one year. I thought they should shut him down for 2 weeks at the ASB, instead, he continued pitching every 5 days, lost some velocity by August and we all see where that went.
            Paxton and Walker were pretty much limited to 5 IP a start in Tacoma last year. I would hope they are getting into the 7 IP range this year. Get them in the range of 28 starts and you’re looking at about 196 innings. That’s skipping 5 starts each. I figure the best way to do that is durning the summer, take turns on a DL stint, let Erasmo or Maurer come up for a month and cover starts for each of them. around the ASB. Then skip a start here or there based on the schedule. It never seems to happen that way though.

          • Stevil 1 year ago

            CJ Wilson isn’t the norm, though, and he had experience of 100+ innings earlier in his professional career (136 in 2002; 123 in 2003). Regardless of age, players still have to be stretched-out, which is something still relatively new to Paxton.

            Again, Paxton and Walker shouldn’t even be needed for anywhere near 200 innings. Unless one of them is slotted #3 in the rotation, they wouldn’t likely receive enough starts to make that a possibility. Their limitations in minor league games, which you noted, just makes it that much harder to picture them going 7+ on a regular basis.

            As far as giving them rest goes, that would make sense If they’re showing signs of fatigue relatively early. But otherwise, I wouldn’t want to disrupt their rhythm.

            Anyway, let’s hope they simply go out and dominate effortlessly!

  3. Jordan_Vaughn1 1 year ago

    would be another good move for the Mariners this offseason

  4. CrustyJuggler 1 year ago

    2 years with escalators based on starts would be a great move for Seattle. Much better than 4/50 for Santana and losing a pick.

  5. daveineg 1 year ago

    Capuano is one of those guys who’s just good enough to get you beat. He can usually get through an order twice, but then he’ll lose it and lose it fast before a manager can react and a lead can disappear in no time. Decent 5th starter material but don’t expect much more.

  6. Eslva917 1 year ago

    He wants to win a WS so I think he will pass.

    • John Kreese 1 year ago

      He also wants a chance to start & earn a paycheck. No matter the team if the deal is right he’ll sign.

    • What WS team wants him as something other than AAA depth?

  7. Eric 1 year ago

    Signing Capuano to a 1 year deal is a good idea for the Mariners. Iwakuma is looking to likely miss at least a couple starts to begin the 2014 season. And one of Paxton or Walker might not make the 25-man roster, and end up back at AAA.

    • GD 1 year ago

      I think Iwakuma will be ready by April 1…just my gut. Also, I think Walker/Paxton BOTH make it out of SP training in rotation. Capuano is a valuable pickup for for rotation AND our BP depth, and since Walker/Paxton will be on 180-190 PC’s could take that edge off “if” needed. This would be way better than a $50m contract for Ervin Santana!

      • Tko11 1 year ago

        I doubt Walker or Paxton will throw 180-190 pitches in a game this season.

        • Stevil 1 year ago

          I’m sure he meant innings, but even that’s a huge stretch. I’d be surprised if either of them exceeded 150.

          • Tko11 1 year ago

            I’m sure he meant innings, I’m just trollllin lol.

          • Edgar4evar 1 year ago

            If you figure they pitch around 20 innings more than previously, then they’re in the 150-160 range so I think you’re about right. We’ll need a few arms come September to finish out the season. It will be very awkward if the M’s do something like stay in the pennant race.

          • gmantacoma 1 year ago

            2013:
            Walker 156 IP; should be good for 175-190
            Paxton 170 IP; should be good for 190-205

          • Stevil 1 year ago

            They’re still very new to the major league level. The M’s are going to take it easy with them, just like they have with virtually all their top pitching prospects.

            Worth noting, Paxton was just under 170 last season between Seattle and Tacoma, but barely cracked 100 in 2012. He’s had his share of injury issues already–all the more reason for the M’s to take it easy with him.

  8. Seamaholic 1 year ago

    Of course he’s not better than Iwakuma. But Scott Baker is a gamble to even throw a big league pitch this year, and Walker is a rookie and who knows. Paxton should be fine, but again, very SSS for him and who knows. Capuano is a very solid pitcher with some unconnected injuries in his past. He’s a risk, sure, but you know Clayton Kershaw isn’t available (and he’s a risk, too).

    • docmilo5 1 year ago

      Baker threw 13 innings for the Cubs last year and 30 innings in A ball. I don’t see the gamble as far as throwing in the bigs. He’s passes his physical, made it thru the first days of bullpen sessions and is hanging with the club.

  9. Taylor Hope 1 year ago

    Well, someone is going to sign him to a big league contract. He’s not getting an NRI.

    • docmilo5 1 year ago

      If the M’s offer an NRI with a bonus of $8 mill if he makes the 25 man vs a $3 or $4 mill deal from someone else? Where do you go? He gets a clause to be added or cut by say the 20th of March so he can catch on with another team that has an injury during camp and can get the lesser deal at that time.
      Capuano is another year older and missed time last year, again, due to injury.

  10. Alex Conn 1 year ago

    I have no problem with a cheap back end vet pitcher like Cap. This could be a very solid sign if it goes through. A lot of people from the outside looking in don’t think about Safeco – pretty much makes all pitchers slightly better. I loved the Scott Baker deal and would really like this one.

  11. RJDavis11 1 year ago

    I think I would prefer this over Santana, even if his talent (arguably) doesn’t match. He has more promise than the Joe Saunders/Aaron Harang guys they have brought in in the past, but won’t command Santana $$. Gives a little pad in case Baker doesn’t work out and Walker/Paxton stumble out of the gates.

  12. Edgar4evar 1 year ago

    The only left-handed starter the M’s have is Paxton, and he probably can’t go the whole season. And that’s assuming he pitches well enough to stay in the rotation. The Mariners have to face a Rangers squad that now has Fielder and Choo on it so left-handed starters are important if they’re going to compete in the AL West.

    Sign him now.

    • John Kreese 1 year ago

      No kidding. It sounds like whoever offers him a 2-yr deal will likely land him. M’s, quit haggling over a few million dollar & sign the guy already (even if it’s for two years)!

  13. southside 1 year ago

    solid 5 for any of the teams mentioned

    • Don 1 year ago

      I can’t see him being better than the 7th or 8th best option for the Red Sox. That 4.27 career ERA would be 5+ in the AL East.

      Don’t mind the depth though… how many different starting pitchers did each team in MLB go through last year? I bet it was 10+.

  14. aok 1 year ago

    How many reclamation projects do they plan to take on?

  15. Lefebvre Believer 1 year ago

    Not the most thrilling option out there, but if they follow up a Capuano signing with a trade for a solid outfielder then I suppose I’d be okay with it.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Look at the bright side.. He’s better than Anaheim’s #5 in Joe Blanton.

      Last year the M’s were stuck going with Bazooka Joe (whom I wouldn’t mind), Aaron Harang and Jeremy Bondermon. Capuano is probably the best of those “top” retreads if they can’t get a real #4-5 and if will sign for as little as 1-1.5m? They can cut him and sign another, just like they did last year when they played roulette with retreads.

      My 2c

      • Lefebvre Believer 1 year ago

        Don’t know all that much about him. A quick look at his graphs and he appears to be basically an average pitcher, one who doesn’t walk a lot of guys, but will give up a HR from time to time. Thing is, the Mariners could use a guy like that.

  16. Blanketsburg 1 year ago

    I’d certainly be okay with a hometown guy like Capuano signing with the Sox as long man/spot starter. Especially since he’s from my own hometown. Two year deal with some incentives would be a good value signing.

  17. Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

    Expect Chris Capuano to bounce back to a 2+ WAR in 2014: His ERA inflated to 4.26 from a 3.72 in 2012, but his xFIP, SIERA, and tERA all got better. Plus he was very unlucky last season, posting .334 BABIP where his career is an even .300, and his LOB% was 68.9% vs his 72.5% career. As you can see, hitters got lucky against him last season, and it reflects into his stats even though Capuano didn’t have any worse a season than last year.

    • slashieboy . 1 year ago

      If he’s in the AL East he won’t bounce back he will be lit up just like all the other national leaguers that gets tortched trying to switch leagues.

      • Eric Droegemeier 1 year ago

        That statement is so untrue. You can’t just blanket everyone together and say that NL pitchers do terrible when they come to the AL. Look at Anibal Sanchez. Or Hiroki Kuroda, or Ubaldo Jimenez. In truth, it just depends on the pitcher.

  18. Jack Miller 1 year ago

    They already have Workman only difference is that Cap’s a lefty

  19. Sportsbozo1 1 year ago

    For all the Mariners fans what makes you think Capuano wants to pitch in Seattle? Did you not read the entire headline? Mariners and Red Sox in negotiations with Capuano.
    No offense meant but if I’m a 35 year old journeyman LHP I’d rather sign with the World Champions than a team trying to get to that status, I would have to think my chances of being in the playoffs would be better in Boston than Seattle.

    • Lefebvre Believer 1 year ago

      Story was updated in the evening.

    • trenigro 1 year ago

      More money and a guaranteed spot in the rotation sounds more appealing than being a dispensable swing man.

  20. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    You can’t sign mediocer National league pitchers to the AL East and expekt them to be anything but really bad. I hoped the Sox had learned that lesson…

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