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Chris Capuano Rumors
Despite their rotation surplus, Ned Colletti and the Dodgers are "in no rush" to trade a starting pitcher, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reports. Zack Greinke and Chad Billingsley are dealing with minor injuries, and Ted Lilly is coming back from shoulder surgery. Even if all the Dodgers' starting pitchers are healthy, one scenario might be for Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang to begin the season in the bullpen.
Previous reports have indicated that other teams may be trying to force the Dodgers into a tough spot by lowballing them on trade offers until the need to set their 25-man roster forces L.A. to make a decision about how to handle its eight starting pitchers. If one of their starters isn't healthy or if the Dodgers are willing to use several of their starters in relief, that negotiation tactic might not work. Forcing a number of starters to the bullpen, though, would simply move the logjam from one part of the team to another, where it might affect pitchers like Matt Guerrier and a number of younger relievers. Here are more notes from the Dodgers.
- The Dodgers may eat the remaining $8MM on Juan Uribe's contract, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports, but Uribe is trying to recast himself as a utilityman who can also back up Adrian Gonzalez at first base. Uribe's three-year, $21MM contract, signed after the 2010 season, almost immediately proved to be a poor investment, as Uribe hit .204/264/.293 in the first year of the deal, then .191/.258/.284 in 2012.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly says his team should consider letting him go if the team does not make the playoffs, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. "If we can't get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice. There's a ton of talent here," Mattingly says. Mattingly is not under contract for 2014, and Shaikin reports that Mattingly does not expect to receive a contract extension before the season starts.
The Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches on the mound and it stands to reason that, at some point, they will move at least one of their extra starters for other assets. Earlier today, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported that Ted Lilly is drawing more interest than Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang at this stage, despite missing most of last season. Here’s more out of Los Angeles and other notes from the NL West..
- Rival officials believe that other clubs will wait for the Dodgers to be backed into a corner by the calendar before making a deal for Harang and/or Capuano, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req’d). The idea behind that is to push the Dodgers to eat most of the money owed to the pitchers. Harang will make $7MM for this season and has a $2MM buyout on a 2014 option. Capuano, meanwhile, will make $6MM, with a $1MM buyout.
- Yesterday, Olney wrote that the Giants were in talks on a deal worth roughly $80MM with Melky Cabrera before his suspension, but a source with deep knowledge of the club’s thinking says that no deal was close. The slugger ultimately landed in Toronto this winter, signing a two-year, $16MM deal.
- Woody Paige of the Denver Post writes that the Rockies need to upgrade their rotation with Capuano and J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays. Toronto can afford to part with the former National League rookie of the year as he isn’t slated to be part of the rotation in 2013.
In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes that some league executives feel that the new-and-improved PED testing will have a drastic effect on the power numbers of players. That feeling has given some owners pause about committing long-term deals until they know how it will all play out. “We’re all anxious to see what the result of the testing will be, but we’re anticipating that it will have a significant effect on the numbers, which will impact the game in general,” said an American League owner. “I think a few owners feel the way we do, that we’re going to see noticeable physical changes in players and their stamina in getting through a 162-game schedule.” Here's more from Cafardo..
- The Yankees have explored temporary options to fill-in for the injured Mark Teixeira but they have also looked into more significant moves. The Bombers have inquired on the Padres' Chase Headley, though we learned recently that he's not available at this time. However, Headley could be on the market this summer.
- If shortstop Jose Iglesias continues to hit in spring training, Cafardo wonders if the Red Sox might be open to dealing Stephen Drew down the line. The Cardinals pursued Drew this offseason and they are looking for help with Rafael Furcal sidelined. Drew cannot be traded until June 15 without his approval.
- Teams have a number of reasons why they say they are not interested in Kyle Lohse, but Cafardo isn't buying any of them. He feels that some team will happily give him a one-year, $10MM contract. He would be a great fit in tfhe National League and Cafardo suggests the Brewers as a good fit.
- There is more interest in Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly than fellow surplus starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano. The Dodgers are holding on to all of them until they know that Chad Billingsley is fully recovered after undergoing treatments to his elbow this offseason.
- A National League scout suggested that Phillies outfielder John Mayberry might be a good fit for the Yankees at first base, with a switch back to the outfield after Teixeira returns. Mayberry is a former first baseman and was used there last season when Ryan Howard was out of action.
Jack Zduriencik is still the right person to serve as the Mariners' GM, Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times contends. Brewer points to a strong farm system (which includes the likes of Taijuan Walker, Mike Zunino, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton) as evidence that Zduriencik's plan is working. The Mariners have only had one winning season since Zduriencik was hired, however. "I can't say that I'm happy, can't say that I'm satisfied at all," Zduriencik said. "Because, at the end, it's about the finished product at the big-league level and all of these kids becoming what you want them to become." The M's finished 75-87 in 2012. Here are more notes from around the majors.
- The Red Sox clubhouse feels "eleventy-billion times better" than it did in 2012, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald. The team's decision to replace Bobby Valentine with John Farrell is part of that, Tomase argues, but so is the fact that new additions Ryan Dempster, Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Joel Hanrahan, David Ross, Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew weren't around during the Red Sox's ugly 2012 season.
- Napoli will be an impact hitter for the Red Sox in 2013 because he will no longer catch, Michael Silverman argues, also in the Boston Herald. "Now there’s more of a flow to everything," Napoli says. "It’s a tough position — catching and good-hitting catchers are tough to find. It’s just a grind — a grind that I do miss, but I don’t miss." Napoli caught in 72 games for the Rangers last year, but the Red Sox signed him to an incentive-laden one-year deal for 2013 with the plan that he would play first base, where, Silverman writes, he has looked "nimble and sure-handed" this spring.
- The Dodgers "do not appear close" to trading one of their starting pitchers, writes Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. Since the Dodgers cannot ship Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano or Ted Lilly to the minors without those players' consent, teams may simply wait for the Dodgers, who don't have roster space for all their starting pitching, to become more desperate. The Orioles, Brewers and Pirates "have expressed interest" in the Dodgers' surplus arms, Shaikin notes, but the Rangers are not a likely trade partner.
They Dodgers have called teams to gauge the interest in left-hander Chris Capuano, sources told Troy Renck of the Denver Post. The Rockies, who have an obvious need for rotation help, are among those teams.
It makes sense that the Dodgers would actively shop Capuano as they have a surplus of pitching after signing free agents Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Renck doesn't see Capuano as a fit for the Rockies, however, given the interest he will draw and the reluctance of both teams to trade within the division. The veteran will earn $6MM in 2013, meaning that the Rockies would have to also unload salary in a deal for him.
For his part, the 34-year-old says that he hasn't asked out even though he seems likely to be squeezed out of the rotation. Capuano is open to moving to the bullpen if he is asked, but fellow veteran Aaron Harang doesn't seem interested in becoming a reliever.
Yesterday, we learned that Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw doesn't want to have extension talks during the season. It could cost the Dodgers upwards of $200MM to lock him up for the long term, but we know that the Dodgers aren't shy about spending. Here's more out of Los Angeles..
- Starter Chris Capuano hasn't asked for a trade even though he's one of eight starting pitchers looking for a rotation spot and may not make the cut, writes MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. The veteran knows that he may wind up being moved thanks to the starter surplus but also won't rule out a move to the bullpen in order to stay in Los Angeles. Aaron Harang, who is in a similar spot, says that he hasn't considered becoming a reliever in 2013.
- Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly says that he won't let his contract status become a distraction for him in 2013, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Mattingly is entering the third and final season of his deal and his request at the end of last year to have his 2014 option be guaranteed was declined.
- Mid-season acquisition Josh Beckett says that despite what someone believe, he enjoyed his time in Boston, Richard Justice of MLB.com writes. At the same time, he is looking forward to being a part of the reloaded Dodgers.
Here's a look at the stories and news making headlines on Tuesday evening…
- Chris Capuano arguably had the best year of his career in 2012 but finds himself without much job security with Spring Training mere weeks away, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The Dodgers left-hander can only point to his team's decision to forgo any semblance of a budget and add the best available players at any and every position.
- Two months after the Marlins left themselves with a bare bones roster thanks to a blockbuster deal with the Blue Jays, Miami star Giancarlo Stanton remains upset about the team's future, says Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
- Rays Executive VP Andrew Friedman spoke with the media on Tuesday while 30 prospects went through training exercises at Tropicana Field, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Friedman pointed to the designated hitter position as an area of concern, which the team may attempt to address through free agency.
- According to the MLBPA, 133 Major League players filed for arbitration on Tuesday. Players and teams will swap salary proposals on Friday with hopes of reaching an agreement without having to appear in front of an arbitration panel. Keep updated on the latest arbitration-related transactions by utilizing MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker.
The Mets are exploring trades and contacting free agents as they look to add depth to a rotation that no longer includes R.A. Dickey, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports. The Mets have reached out to many free agent starters, including Chris Young and Shaun Marcum. Davidoff reported yesterday that the Mets are also interested in free agents Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano.
The Mets have interest in Dodgers starters Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang, Davidoff reports (Twitter link). The Dodgers figure to trade at least one starting pitcher after signing Zack Greinke, so Capuano or Harang could be dealt. The Mets have engaged the Dodgers in trade talks about their starting pitching depth, according to the Post.
GM Sandy Alderson continues searching for a right-handed hitting outfielder, Davidoff writes. The Mets would prefer to add an outfielder capable of playing right field so they can move Lucas Duda to left. Scott Hairston and Cody Ross are potential targets for the Mets. However signing those players could be challenging, since the Mets have approximately $10MM to spend.
Now that we’re midway through the 2012-13 offseason, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com checks in with executives, statistical analysts and oddsmakers to take a look at the teams that have improved themselves the most this winter. Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays are a popular choice for most improved team. Here are some more links from around MLB…
- The Marlins tried to trade for Mike Olt of the Rangers, Nick Castellanos of the Tigers and Jedd Gyorko of the Padres before signing Placido Polanco, Stark reports.
- The Mariners recently spoke with the Dodgers about Chris Capuano, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. However, it doesn't appear that those talks have progressed. Seattle could add a veteran arm after trading Jason Vargas to the Angels for Kendrys Morales, and the Dodgers have a surplus of starting pitchers.
- The Red Sox asked the Dodgers about Andre Ethier at the start of the winter and heard he was “not available,” Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). It doesn’t appear that the Dodgers will trade Ethier this winter.
- The Mariners also talked to the Dodgers about Ethier, Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports report. However, talks failed to progress.
- Dodgers starters Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano are even more in play with the Pirates, Mariners, Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians among the teams checking in, major league sources tell Jon Paul Morosi. The club began shopping Harang and Capuano at the winter meetings, anticipating that they would add at least two other starters, which turned out to be Zack Greinke and Ryu Hyun-Jin.
- One rival executive predicts that the Angels will keep Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo while moving Vernon Wells. The outfielder holds a no-trade clause and is owed $21MM in each of the next two seasons but probably can't bring the Angels the pitcher they need.
- Joel Hanrahan has been linked to both the Tigers and Dodgers, but both clubs are wary of his salary, according to sources. Hanrahan is projected to make $6.9MM in arbitration next season.
- A source says that the Indians' four-player return for Shin-Soo Choo and Jason Donald won't deter them from moving right-hander Justin Masterson, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, or closer Chris Perez in the right deal, Rival teams say the Tribe insisted upon major leaguers/major league ready pieces for Choo and they would presumably seek the same in return for their other veterans.