Matt Capps Rumors

Minor Moves: Blackley, Flores, Capps, Ciriaco

Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.

  • A pair of veterans are headed to the Marlins, per Matt Eddy of Baseball America (via Twitter). Lefty Travis Blackley and catcher Jesus Flores will join the Miami organization after being cut loose by other clubs earlier in the spring. Blackley, 32, has not seen big league action since 2013 and struggled in a brief stint in Japan last year. The 30-year-old Flores, meanwhile, has never returned to the majors since a five-year run with the Nationals. At Triple-A last year with the Royals, he slashed .230/.299/.373 over 271 plate appearances.
  • The Braves have released veteran reliever Matt Capps, according to the International League transactions page. Capps, a former closer for the Pirates, Nationals and Twins, last appeared in the big leagues in 2012. He pitched just 12 minor-league innings in the last two seasons in the Indians system while dealing with shoulder issues, and he had not yet appeared in a game in 2015.
  • The Braves have announced that they’ve purchased the contract of utilityman Pedro Ciriaco. To make space on their active roster, they’ve optioned lefty Ian Thomas to Triple-A Gwinnett. With Chris Johnson out with a hand injury, the Braves plan to go with Alberto Callaspo and Phil Gosselin at third base, and Ciriaco could provide extra help at third and elsewhere in the infield. The 29-year-old has a career .270/.299/.372 line in 498 plate appearances over five seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, Padres and Royals. The Braves signed him to a minor-league deal in October.

Minor Moves: White, Presley, Capps, Perez, Smoker

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • Astros outfielder Alex Presley has cleared waivers and is now deciding whether to accept his outright assignment, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). He is expected to accept the assignment in order to retain his $1MM salary, per the report. Righty Alex White has also cleared waivers and has been assigned to Houston’s Triple-A affiliate, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart tweets.
  • Veteran righty Matt Capps has re-signed with the Braves, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports on Twitter. The former Nationals closer had been with the club this spring but was released. Capps, 31, gave up two long balls in his only two innings of work, and has thrown just 12 professional innings over the last two seasons.
  • The Mariners have loaned lefty Rafael Perez to Mexico’s Quintana Roo Tigers, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune tweets. Perez, 32, was once a mainstay in the Indians’ pen and owns a 3.64 ERA over 329 big league innings. His peripherals declined, however, and he has not pitched in the big leagues since 2012. Perez has put up strong numbers in the upper minors over the last two years, however, and even returned to working as a starter last year.
  • Former top draft pick Josh Smoker has signed with the Mets, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports. The 26-year-old, who washed out of the Nationals’ system, is said to be working back into the mid-90s with his fastball.

Minor Moves: Tomas, Oliver, Brignac, Zito

Here are today’s minor transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post…

  • The Diamondbacks have optioned Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, the team reports via Twitter. The club signed Tomas for $68.5MM over the offseason. He struggled both defensively and offensively this spring. A stint in Triple-A should give him time to adjust to the outfield and improve his plate approach.
  • Phillies Rule 5 pick Andy Oliver has elected free agency after he was outrighted, the club announced via Twitter. The hard throwing lefty has struggled with walks throughout his career. That continued this spring with 11 walks and 22 strikeouts in 12 and two-thirds innings. The club also announced on Twitter that they reassigned catcher Rene Garcia, first baseman Russ Canzler, and infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A.
  • Marlins utility infielder Reid Brignac has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. In 905 major league plate appearances, Brignac has a .222/.266/.314 line.
  • Athletics pitcher Barry Zito has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com. The former star is working his way back from a one-year hiatus. He posted a 4.79 ERA in 20 and two-thirds spring innings. The 37-year-old struck out 14 and walked five. A former ninth overall pick of the A’s, the southpaw struggled after moving across the Bay to San Francisco on a seven-year, $126MM contract. That deal concluded after the 2013 season.
  • The Red Sox have released Casey Crosby, Bryan LaHair, and Matt Hoffman per the MLB transactions page. Crosby was once a top prospect with the Tigers, but the 26-year-old lefty has yet to develop command. Lahair, 32, had a nice run with the Cubs in 2012 when he hit .259/.334/.450 with 16 home runs in 380 plate appearances. He spent the 2013 season in Japan and split 2014 between Cleveland’s Double and Triple-A clubs.
  • The Phillies have released shortstop Tyler Greene according to the MLB transactions page. Greene, an 11th round pick, was once rated among the Phillies’ best prospects. He missed the entire 2014 season and has never posted a strikeout rate below 33 percent at any level.
  • The Giants have released pitcher Edgmer Escalona per the MLB transactions page. Escalona pitched in parts of four seasons for the Rockies, accruing 100 innings. He has a career 4.50 ERA with 6.39 K/9 and 2.88 BB/9.
  • The Cubs have released lefty pitcher Francisley Bueno according to the transactions page. The 34-year-old has pitched in parts of four season for the Braves and Royals. The soft tossing lefty has a career 2.98 ERA with 4.92 K/9 and 1.79 BB/9 in 60 innings. He’s a pure platoon pitcher.
  • The Braves released former closer Matt Capps per MLB.com. The righty last appeared in the majors in 2012. He has a career 3.52 ERA with 6.53 K/9 and 1.72 BB/9. He’s thrown just 12 minor league innings over the last two seasons – both with the Indians.

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Braves To Sign Matt Capps

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Braves have inked righty Matt Capps to a minor league deal, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports on Twitter. An eight-year big league veteran, Capps has not worked in the majors since 2012 and has thrown few minor league innings over the last two seasons owing to injury struggles. The former Pirates, Nationals, and Twins closer is still only 31 years old. He owns a 3.52 ERA over 439 2/3 lifetime frames at the game’s highest level, with 6.5 K/9 against 1.7 BB/9.

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.