Red Sox Sign Chris Capuano

SATURDAY 12:36pm: Capuano can earn as much as $500K in roster bonuses, $1.25MM for starts (with bonuses beginning at 12 starts) and $1MM for innings pitched (with bonuses beginning at 70 IP),’s Sean McAdam tweets.

10:31am: Capuano has passed his physical, so his deal is now complete, MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo tweets. Ryan Dempster has officially been placed on the disabled list to clear space on the Red Sox’ roster, the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton tweets.

FRIDAY:’s Alex Speier reports that Capuano’s incentives are tied to games started. He adds that the Sox are expected to clear room on the 40-man roster by officially placing Dempster on the restricted list (Twitter links).

THURSDAY: The Red Sox have agreed to a contract with free agent pitcher Chris Capuano, reports Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican (hat tip to his colleague, Jason Mastrodonato). Capuano receives a $2.25MM guarantee, reports Jon Heyman of (via Twitter). He can earn bonuses that would increase the value to as much as $5MM.

The 35-year-old Capuano, who is preresented by Moye Sports Associates, must pass a physical to complete deal. If he does, it appears that he will not be in line for a regular rotation spot, but should be first up in case another arm is needed in that role. If he does indeed start the year off working as the long man in the pen, it would mark just the second time in his nine-year career that Capuano has not featured primarily as a starter. (In 2010 with the Brewers, he started nine games and made 15 relief appearances.)

Over his career, Capuano has proven a sturdy, if unspectacular, big league arm. Though slowed by injuries last year, he logged 198 1/3 innings of 3.72 ERA ball for the Dodgers in 2012. Last year, in twenty starts and four appearances from the pen, Capuano threw 105 2/3 innings and ended up with a 4.26 ERA. Though he logged just 6.9 K/9 last year, the lowest level since his rookie year, Capuano also held down the free passes with a 2.0 BB/9 mark. The resulting 3.38 K:BB ratio, along with a 46.4% ground-ball rate, left him looking good in the eyes of advanced stats like FIP (3.55), xFIP (3.67), and SIERA (3.87).

Though he carries the baggage of two Tommy John procedures and a series of bumps and bruises last season, Capuano looks to come at a solid rate. His new deal lands in much the same realm as fellow southpaw Paul Maholm, who got a slightly lower base salary ($1.5MM) but greater overall incentive package (he would max out at $6.5MM) with the Dodgers. Another lefty, Bruce Chen, got $4.25MM from the Royals. The younger and historically healthier Jason Vargas landed a much bigger deal, getting $32MM over four years from Kansas City.

From Boston’s perspective, it has essentially swapped out Dempster (and the $13.25MM he was owed) for Capuano and his much cheaper price tag. While retaining its depth entering the season, then, the club should have additional space to take on salary if mid-season additions become desirable. 

91 Responses to Red Sox Sign Chris Capuano Leave a Reply

  1. Altodo Woowoo 1 year ago

    Nice pickup for a backup…..

  2. UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

    I’m not sure if the Red Sox pitching is so deep why they felt the need to do this deal. There has to be more to this signing then just as a possible replacement for Dempster, in my opinion.

    • Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

      You wish. A team can never have enough pitching depth, even the Red Sox. For starting pitching depth, he’s 8th-9th on the Red Sox SP depth. Just a long relief/spot start option, replacing Dempster’s role.

      • BK 1 year ago

        If thats the case, why would a player who wanted to start join a team where he would be 3rd in line in a situation when a disaster has already happened? I agree it is a bit fishy with all the short staffed teams with better defense in better pitcher parks especially.

        • Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

          He wants a championship and he’s a local kid. He’s 35 and probably wants another run at a championship before his time is up, and he’s from Springfield MA and being close to home is probably a big plus for him.

        • MmmRocks 1 year ago

          He’s from the area and presumably wants to play for a contending team.

      • joewantspeace 1 year ago

        He’s 35 and wants to join a contender. I think he has family in Massachusetts too.

        • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

          He has to make the roster to get a ring? IF they win, that’s a big if. Tell me the last team to repeat the world series :)

          • joewantspeace 1 year ago

            Red Sox have as good a chance as anyone.

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

            As good as the Yankees.

          • joewantspeace 1 year ago

            umm ok? not sure how the yankees became a part of this discussion.

          • Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

            Because he said ANY team…

          • MmmRocks 1 year ago

            Yes, the Red Sox have as good a chance as any team – even the Yankees who a lot of projections are predicting a 3rd place finish for in the division. No one said he picked the Red Sox because they will win the World Series, they said he picked a contending team and it’s likely that the Red Sox will at least contend for a playoff spot and maybe more.

      • ChancellorZed 1 year ago

        In 2013 Lester started 33 games; Lackey 29; Doubront 27; Peavy 23; Buchholz 16. 128 total. Even if Buchholz ends up starting 30 games, based on last year, Boston still needs another 20 starts at a minimum. It wouldn’t be shocking if more would be needed.

        Many of the AAA guys just arrived there. They won’t need to rely on Barnes, Ranaudo, De La Rosa, and Webster straight away. Yes, I think Workman and Britton will start the year in the pen.

        • PWNdroia 1 year ago

          Those guys need to start getting chances though. Can’t keep on stalling rookies… that being said, Capuano will still get some starts and provide long relief.

          • Michael Lucas Jr. 1 year ago

            I agree that those guys should get chances. When they are ready. I still don’t think the Sox know what they have in Webster. He has a ton of talent but at times was awful last year. Granted it was a small sample size but then he was awful in winter ball as well. He will get a fair shot during the spring but I love the signing of Capuano because Webster should not just be given a spot. He needs to earn it. After him I would say Ranaudo would be next in line & if he pitches well again in Pawtucket then he will probably make his debut in 2014. Barnes I believe needs another full season in Pawtucket. He has legit stuff but at times struggled in Double A. Owens is the guy that they are probably in love with but he will probably start in Double A this year. If he continues his dominance he will be in Pawtucket in no time. If he can cut down on those walks then I see brilliance in his future. Another guy to watch is Brian Johnson. Another lefty who was a pitcher only for the first time last year. I think he was a 2nd round pick out of Florida who was a 2 way star. Sorry for the rant but I just love the potential this team has for it’s future! :)

    • joewantspeace 1 year ago

      why do you think there’s more to it than that? He surely won’t be a member of the starting rotation out of the gate, and would only enter the rotation should a rash of injuries hit.

      • abes_seed 1 year ago

        If and when… When was the last time a 5 man rotation made it throughthe season with no injuries or missed starts… Especially with Bucholz and Lackey… I think this is some good cheap insurance.

        • randomkeys 1 year ago

          The 2013 Detroit Tigers used six starting pitchers: Verlander (34), Scherzer (32), Fister (32), Sanchez (29), Porcello (29). The sixth, Jose Alvarez, started six games.

          The 2012 Cincinnati Reds were even better. Also six starters, but the sixth only started one game. The other five split the remaining 161 games that season.

          • Croagnut 1 year ago

            Red Sox don’t have Verlander, Scherzer, Fister, Sanchez and Porcello. IMO, thats the best rotation in baseball. If the rest of the team didn’t look like an over-40 softball team (sans Iglesis), they’d have had the parade in Oct.

          • Ronald Thompson 1 year ago

            Tigers don’t have Fister anymore.

          • Hugh Langin 1 year ago

            Exception not the rule. The average team has around 26 starts from a pitcher(s) outside there starting 5.

          • abes_seed 1 year ago

            Not bad at all but how rare of a feat that is.

    • homer
      psabella 1 year ago

      You could be on to something. This is a bit of a head scratchier. It would seem that Workman would be a better swing man to start the year. Unless the sox know about some injuries. Workman will be in AAA and considering their faith in him in the world series it does seem odd.

      • Croagnut 1 year ago

        Head Scratcher? They had a major league roster spot come available. They also have a Triple A starter spot coming available (Wright is likely going on 60-day DL). They would rather stretch Workman out as a starter, because thats where he projects, instead of use as a swing man on ML team only getting occasional starts, if at all. If/when a rotation spot opens up for any duration, Workman will be ready, and likely be first call to take it, and Capuano would be swing man again. Where’s the head scratching?

    • Anthony Turreto 1 year ago

      It’s the same reason the Yankees are interested in Johan. It’s smart to have veteran SP depth around.

      • UltimateYankeeFan 1 year ago

        Big difference between the two. The Yankees are showing interest in and have not signed. Even if they do it will be on a minor league deal. The Sox have signed this guy to a Major league deal with guaranteed money and additional incentive money that would bring his compensation to $5MM.

        • Anthony Turreto 1 year ago

          It has nothing to do with guaranteed or non-guaranteed deals. It’s about depth. Santana won’t be ready until May or June anyway. At least Capuano is able to contribute in April if needed.

        • Croagnut 1 year ago

          If the Yankees had a major league spot come available, they would’ve been talking to Capuano too. No difference.

          • jjs91 1 year ago

            Exactly this. I don’t see any player I’d really cut at this point, but would’ve loved him on the team.

        • mike 1 year ago

          Ya your right but we didnt spend 500 million to try to win it all this year

    • Trock 1 year ago

      A Yankee fan should know better to know that you can never have enough pitching depth. It’s a pretty team friendly deal so why not get someone who could have some upside on the cheap? Whether they have a ton of depth or not? We could argue all day. Injuries happen so the more depth the better no matter what team you chear for.

    • Hugh Langin 1 year ago

      Because they need a swing man and Capuano gives them that for a fraction of the cost of Dempster. That role can consist of very sporadic inconsistant work and the Sox like to give their prospects consistency. I know this idea of player development is foreign to a Yankee fan but us Sox fans get it.

    • ugotrpk3113 1 year ago

      There is. Buchholz hasn’t pitched a full year. Lackey is still a massive wildcard going into this year. We have a second year pitcher who hit a career high in innings last year and has had conditioning problems in the past.

      Can never have enough insurance. Even if everything I stated doesn’t come true.

  3. joewantspeace 1 year ago

    he’ll do what Dempster was going to do for 10M less? I can’t complain about that. Would rather Workman or the surplus arms waiting in AAA to get their chance have a shot above him, but you can never have too much depth.

    • Dylan Griffin 1 year ago

      Yep much cheaper than paying $13M. Workman and the young arms would be better, but it would be better for them to give them SP innings in AAA and keep them stretched out as SPs. In other words, would having Workman pitch long relief be worth hindering his progression and potential? See what I mean?

  4. Lionel Bossman Craft 1 year ago

    Can’t wait for the Yankees to light him up.

    • MmmRocks 1 year ago

      I can’t wait for him to face Kelly Johsnon, Brian Roberts and Eduardo Nunez

    • Croagnut 1 year ago

      Yeah, like Capuano’s line from Yankee Stadium last year: 6 inn, 0 ER, 3 Singles, 4 Ks, 0 BBs, .150 Opp BA, and a Win.

      He Got Torched! By torched, I mean only one single got out of the infield.

    • Michael Lucas Jr. 1 year ago

      Yeah because the Red Sox will start him every time they play against each other. Lol. It’s a depth move. Pitching wins championships. Look at the 2 teams that were there last year. They both had a tremendous amount of pitching. Right now he will be a spot starter & long man out of the bullpen. I find it funny how this deal is being slammed. He will probably be the 8th or 9th pitcher on the depth chart. It’s another arm in the spring for them to look at.

  5. LittleOtterPaws 1 year ago

    I really like this deal, if he stays healthy, (and there is no indication that he wont be), he could be a really valuable swing man

    • GeronimoJansen 1 year ago

      He spent a large portion of the 2013 season on the Dodgers’ DL. And when he was healthy, he wasn’t very good. And that was in a pitchers’ haven like Dodger Stadium. He’s going to get crushed at Fenway. But at least he was open to being a bullpen piece.

      • LittleOtterPaws 1 year ago

        Yeah I definitely dont like him as a starter, I think he will be a shaky spot starter. But as a bullpen piece with maybe 5-8 starts (against terrible teams) I could stomach it

      • MmmRocks 1 year ago

        The health is a legitimate concern, but he under performed his peripherals. I think the results will be decent if that corrects itself.

      • Matt Bennett 1 year ago

        Capuano had a 5.18 ERA at home last year, and a 3.17 ERA away. Don’t jump to conclusions. Also, his below average season can be traced back to his extremely high .334 BABIP. His career number is .300. That will surely come down, and therefore result in a better year.

        • slashieboy . 1 year ago

          He will be killed in the AL, Nobody with his NL stats survive in the AL East.

          • MmmRocks 1 year ago

            His peripherals were all pretty solid – in fact they were above league average. Not bad for a 6th starter.

          • slashieboy . 1 year ago

            Wrong league though.

          • Anthony Turreto 1 year ago

            Wasn’t Kuroda supposed to be killed in the AL East too? We’ve seen how that worked out.

  6. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

    You can never have enough pitching depth. Gotta like this move by Cherrington. At worst case he’s a long reliever, at best he’s a solid number 5 starter.

    • Karkat 1 year ago

      Not sure why he wouldn’t pursue a more likely rotation spot in Seattle, but I’m happy to have a guy like him as a contender for the bullpen.

      • start_wearing_purple
        start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

        Maybe he thought he had a better shot at a ring… but he was born in Springfield MA so he maybe just wanted to be part of the home town team. Wish him luck.

        • Karkat 1 year ago

          Nice to have local guys on the team for sure 😀 Whatever his reasons, hopefully he sticks and can pitch well.

          • start_wearing_purple
            start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

            Gotta love the locals.

      • Ronald Thompson 1 year ago

        Coming off an amazing WS win, Springfield is his home, team’s chemistry is super high, fan base is very fond of the team — what’s not to like?

  7. Evan 1 year ago

    Again, what is the Angels plan?

    • Adam R 1 year ago

      Are you seriously disappointed they didn’t sign Capuano?

      • Evan 1 year ago

        Capuano>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Blanton, so ya i am. We need depth. Every team that goes deep into the playoffs has depth. We only have 2 starters that have done anything and Weaver could fall apart any minute. It’s not that I wanted Capuano, i just want depth of any kind. i felt the same way about Maholm. We could have had both guys for cheaper than what we are paying Blanton.

        • Adam R 1 year ago

          Capuano and Blanton are identical. It would be a dogfight between them to slot behind Skaggs. Their career ERA+ and K/BB are the same. I don’t know what stats you’re looking at that put Capuano ahead.

          Let the kids pitch so they can be on your “done anything” list.

          • Evan 1 year ago

            Bro, you can’t look at a pitchers entire career. Blanton freakin imploded last year. He was absolutely abysmal. I don’t need advanced stats to show me that. I watched him pitch. If your argument is to take into account a pitchers whole career, then we should sign Johan Santanna and expect a CY young.

            I want he kids to pitch, but it would be unwise to not have a safety net in case one of those kids can’t hack it. They make up 3/5 of our rotation. that’s a lot to gamble on man.

          • slashieboy . 1 year ago

            He switched from the NL to the AL, that was to expekt.

          • Evan 1 year ago

            And I expect him to be awful again this year. That’s why I want depth, to avoid having him anywhere near the pitching mound.

          • overall a good pickup adding depth to the rotation/bullpen. nothing can come bad with insurance.

          • slashieboy . 1 year ago

            2.25 mill just given away to another NL-pitcher who will provide nothing that any of our AAA guys couldn’t match.

          • Croagnut 1 year ago

            They just received a 13.25 mil gift card from Dempster. Forgive them for splurging.

          • Evan 1 year ago

            I expect Blanton to be bad, not Capuano

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        At 1/2.25 yes! Bullpen needs a long man since they let Williams go and the rotation needs depth badly. Depth Chart is currently: Weaver, Wilson, Richards, Santiago, Skaggs, Blanton. That’s pretty scary.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      Hopefully they are saving every last penny to announce a Trout extension on opening day (then it wont count against the 2014 luxury tax calculation). If not, the lack of pitching depth is inexcusable

  8. Jman1213 1 year ago

    Why are the Sox paying $2.25 mil for a swingman?

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      In the MLB 2.25 MM is dirt cheap for a FA

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Because they have over 400 million in revenues, not to mention over 100 million in profits from NESN, and only have a payroll of 160 million

  9. rich 1 year ago

    Really good move. He’s a local kid and a true pro. He’ll be a pitching coach someday if wants to go that route. His current stuff is fringey as a starter but would play pretty well in the pen, he could be solid in the long man/depth starter role for them.

    • slashieboy . 1 year ago

      Over the last ten years not a single pitcher joining the Red Sox coming over from the NL has been able to match the numbers they had in NL. Capuanos stats was not very good in the NL, =disaster.

      • rich 1 year ago

        His stats weren’t very good because he wasn’t pitching in the proper role. I do agree that as a regular SP in Fenway he would be a disaster. As a LH long man, I think he can thrive. Sort of like a Darren Oliver role. His career numbers against LHH speak for themselves, he’s very good against him. I watched him quite a bit last year, his stuff is still there, he just gasses out after 70 pitches. He could be very good in a pen role.

  10. rich 1 year ago

    Really good move. He’s a local kid and a true pro. He’ll be a pitching coach someday if wants to go that route. His current stuff is fringey as a starter but would play pretty well in the pen, he could be solid in the long man/depth starter role for them.

  11. bjsguess 1 year ago

    Smart move by the Sox. This is the deal that I wished the Angels would have done. Like him much more than Maholm.

  12. I like this signing for the red Sox. A solid depth/swingman pitcher

  13. kiaanx 1 year ago

    Nobody was complaining when Dempster was on the roster. Capuano is just filling the same role for $10 million less. They key thing to take from this is Workman is still a starter as he now likely slots into the AAA rotation, ready for a call up if someone goes down for a prolonged period.

    Remember over the past couple seasons we’ve had starts from Cook, Dice-K, Morales, Aceves etc. This, hopefully, eliminates that possibility.

    • Don 1 year ago

      I think I read that there were over 10 different starters for the Sox last year. Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Doubront, Peavy, Capuano, Workman, Webster, de la Rosa, Rauando and Barnes. I really like the additional depth and the price was right.

  14. Guest 1 year ago

    5 Left-handers on the staff now. Someone wants the Yankees batting from the right.

  15. Croagnut 1 year ago

    Just a thought: With all these lefties in camp (Lester, Doubront, Breslow, Miller, Capuano Britton), could the Capuano signing be a pre-cursor to an upcoming trade of one?

  16. WNYMetsfan03 1 year ago

    Solid player and a very smart guy, this is a good move by the Sox. I liked him during his time with the Mets. He’s not going to blow anyone away but he has a plan out there.

  17. Tyler Claus Coners 1 year ago

    I like the deal. Capuano can help out the younger pitchers.

  18. And he’s a lefty. I like this deal for the Red Sox. If it blows up in their faces, it isn’t a huge guarantee…just $2.25M.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Soft tossing LHP’ers don’t usually do well at Fenway. Lot of pretty good offensive teams in the AL East as well. Money down the drain.

  19. slashieboy . 1 year ago

    I still don’t like the deal, the Red Sox has not signed one single pitcher from the NL that has performed up to his NL sats, and this guys NL stats are lousy so I feel he will be another bust!

    • Don 1 year ago

      It’s $2.25M for a guy to eat up 35 – 40 innings as a starter.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Pedro, Schilling, Beckett, duh….

  20. mandarin 1 year ago

    red sox repeat??? ROFL. you have got to be kidding.

Leave a Reply