Matt Capps Rumors

Indians Re-Sign Matt Capps

The Indians announced that they have re-signed reliever Matt Capps to a minor league deal.  The pact comes with a non-roster invitation to Major League spring training camp.

Capps, 30, joined the Tribe on a minor league deal last offseason.  The veteran couldn't stay healthy in 2013 and wound up pitching in just six games for the club's Triple-A affiliate.  In eight big league seasons, Capps owns a 3.52 ERA with 6.5 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9.


Indians Re-Sign Matsuzaka, Capps

The Indians re-signed pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps to minor league deals, according to a press release.  The pair had been released recently so the team could avoid paying them $100K retention bonuses.  It looks like they'll head to Columbus, providing the organization with veteran depth for the rotation and bullpen.


Indians Release Matt Capps

The Indians released reliever Matt Capps, according to a tweet from the team.  The move enables them to avoid paying a $100K retention bonus, notes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but the team will continue to negotiate with him.  The Tribe released Daisuke Matsuzaka yesterday for the same reason.  Here's the full list of Article XX(B) free agents, who today must be placed on the 25-man roster, released outright, or given the $100K bonus if sent to the minors. 

Capps, 29, posted a 3.68 ERA, 5.5 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, 1.53 HR/9, and 41.8% groundball rate for the Twins last year in 29 1/3 innings.  The former closer missed time with a shoulder injury, and the Twins declined his $6MM club option following the season.

You can check out MLBTR's complete list of current free agents here.



Capps, Young Face Decisions

Reliever Matt Capps and starting pitcher Chris Young both signed minor-league deals with new teams this offseason as Article XX(B) free agents, and they both face decisions as the end of spring training nears. Neither is expected to make the 25-man rosters of their new teams, and if they don't, they can become free agents, or they can accept minor-league assignments, which come with $100K retention bonuses and opt-out dates of June 1.

Capps is still in big-league camp with the Indians, but the Indians have informed him he won't be on their 25-man roster. He is unsure whether he will accept an assignment to Triple-A Columbus or catch on with another team, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports. For now, Capps is in limbo. "I've never been in this situation," he says. "I'm not really sure what to think or where to go or what to do. So, I'm just kind of here right now." Unsurprisingly, Capps says he would accept a big-league opportunity elsewhere before reporting to Columbus. Capps pitched 29 1/3 innings with the Twins last season, with a 3.68 ERA, 5.52 K/9, and 1.23 BB/9.

Young may soon be in a similar situation with the Nationals. He can trigger an out clause in his contract on March 24, before his next spring training start, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post notes. [Young's out clause is technically distinct from those of most other Type XX(B) free agents, who must be notified by March 26 whether they will make their clubs' 25-man rosters.]

Like Capps, Young indicates that he would prefer a major-league job elsewhere to a minor-league assignment. "I do feel like I’m a big league pitcher," he says. "To turn down a big league opportunity to go to Triple A is probably not in my best interest." Kilgore lists the Padres, Angels and Twins as possible destinations for Young. Young pitched 115 innings for the Mets last season, with a 4.15 ERA and 6.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. He is an extreme fly-ball pitcher, however, and may not be the best fit in home-run-friendly ballparks.


Quick Hits: Theriot, Carpenter, Yankees

The Indians have told Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps that they'd like to keep them in the organization, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Neither pitcher will make the team's Opening Day roster, but Matsuzaka said he intends to remain with the Indians, Hoynes reports. Meanwhile, Capps has yet to decide whether he’ll stay with the Indians or elect free agency.

Here are some more links for Monday…

  • Free agent infielder Ryan Theriot is considering a new career path, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (on Twitter). Schulman hears that the 33-year-old is thinking of becoming an agent.
  • Chris Carpenter doesn’t sound optimistic about pitching at the MLB level again, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports (on Twitter). "I want to, but I don't think I can," Carpenter said, adding that he still feels numbness and weakness. His contract with the Cardinals expires after the 2013 season, and he’s not expected to pitch again.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told Dan Martin of the New York Post that he's open to the possibility of acquiring another player before the regular season begins. Cashman also said that he considers the Brennan Boesch deal a low-risk, high-reward signing. "The only downside is wasting time and a small amount of money … Nothing’s been promised to him at all.”

Indians Sign Matt Capps

The Indians announced that they signed Matt Capps to a minor league deal with an invitation to MLB Spring Training. Kelly Kinzer of Kinzer Management Group represents the right-handed reliever.

Capps opened the 2012 season as the Twins' closer and posted a 3.68 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and 13 saves in 29 1/3 innings. However, shoulder inflammation led to two trips to the disabled list in the second half of the season and limited the 29-year-old to just three appearances after June 23rd.

Before the 2012 season Capps had established himself as a closer who was durable if not dominant. He averaged 68 innings with a 3.50 ERA, 6.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 from 2006-11 while pitching for the Pirates, Nationals and Twins. In eight MLB seasons, he has a 39.5% ground ball rate. His fastball averaged 92.4 mph last year, not far off his career mark of 93 mph.


Florida Notes: Lee, Morrison, Capps, Kearns, Rays

Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:

  • The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training. 
  • The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
  • Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter. 
  • Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
  • The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."


Twins Decline 2013 Option For Matt Capps

The Twins have declined their 2013 club option for Matt Capps, the team announced. The option was worth $6MM and veteran right-hander will instead receive a $250K buyout.

Capps, 29, pitched to a 3.68 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 29 1/3 innings for Minnesota this season after signing a one-year deal worth $4.75MM last winter. He saved 14 games in 15 chances but missed almost the entire second half with rotator cuff inflammation. Glen Perkins took over as closer in Capps' absence.

Minnesota originally acquired Capps from the Nationals for catcher Wilson Ramos at the 2010 trade deadline. He posted a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings down the stretch that year and following up with a 4.25 ERA in 65 2/3 innings last summer. Capps was a Modified Type-A free agent under the new collective bargaining agreement last offseason.


Quick Hits: Indians, Scutaro, Twins, Polanco

The Indians are focused on trade candidates who are under team control beyond 2012, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). This means players such as Shane Victorino aren’t ideal targets for Cleveland. Here are more links from around MLB for Thursday afternoon…

  • Marco Scutaro is the most likely Rockies player to be dealt this month, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. The Nationals and Rays are among the teams watching Scutaro, Renck notes.
  • The Twins are hoping Carl Pavano and Matt Capps get healthy and pitch well in August so they can pass the pitchers through waivers and consider trading them, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
  • The Orioles, who continue looking for a third baseman, would have "tried hard" to acquire Placido Polanco if the Phillies hadn't placed him on the disabled list, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).

Angels Have Interest in Matt Capps, Francisco Liriano

Looking to bolster their pitching staff for the stretch drive, the Angels have interest in both Matt Capps and Francisco Liriano according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Twins have made both players available, though Morosi says there is an outside chance a deal for either happens.

The Halos have continued to look for bullpen help even after acquiring Ernesto Frieri from the Padres, and their rotation took a hit when Dan Haren was placed on the DL with a back issue. The trio of Ervin Santana (5.75 ERA), Jerome Williams (4.67 ERA), and Garrett Richards (4.21 ERA) has been shaky behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. Los Angeles is also said to have interest in Zack Greinke.

Capps, 28, has pitched to a 3.42 ERA with 14 saves while battling shoulder inflammation this season. He is owed approximately $2.3MM for the rest of the year and has a $6MM club option ($250K buyout) in his contract. The 28-year-old Liriano owns a 4.93 ERA in 15 starts and five relief appearances. He struck out 15 last night and has pitched to a 2.83 ERA in nine starts since returning to the rotation. Liriano will become a free agent after the season and is owed roughly $2.75MM the rest of the way.