Matt Capps Rumors

Mets May Replace Paulino, Inquired On Jack Wilson

It's been a quiet offseason for the Mets to this point, but we can expect them to pursue help at shortstop whether or not Jose Reyes returns. They'll also look for depth in the rotation, the bullpen and potentially the outfield. Here’s the latest on some possible offseason moves…

  • Some Mets officials were displeased with Ronny Paulino’s defense, offense and work habits in 2011, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. “He was supposed to hit for power, and all he did was hit singles,” one Mets person told Martino. Some Mets executives would like to part with Paulino, rely on Josh Thole to catch about 60% of games and add a veteran to handle the remaining catching duties. MLBTR projects a $1.6MM salary for the arbitration eligible Paulino in 2012. 
  • Agent Page Odle confirmed to Mark Hale of the New York Post that the Mets have expressed interest in free agent infielder Jack Wilson. The Mets’ interest level in Wilson will depend on whether Reyes re-signs. If Reyes obtains better offers elsewhere, as expected, Wilson could provide depth in case Ruben Tejada's transition to shortstop doesn't go as smoothly as the team would like. 
  • Agent Paul Kinzer told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he hasn’t heard from the Mets about possible interest in Matt Capps since the GM Meetings took place two weeks ago (Twitter link).

Agent: Angels One Of 4-5 Teams With Serious Interest In Aramis

The Angels are one of five or five teams with "serious interest" in free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez, agent Paul Kinzer told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times.  DiGiovanna notes that earlier this month Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described his interest level in Ramirez as "lower, but I never close the door on anyone."

Ramirez is open to playing on the West Coast, Kinzer told DiGiovanna.  With full no-trade rights this summer, Ramirez was not so flexible.  DiGiovanna believes Ramirez could make a decision on his new team at next week's Winter Meetings.  On November 14th, Kinzer told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports Ramirez seeks a four-year deal or three years with an option.

The Angels are interested in relievers Matt Capps, Heath Bell, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, and Scott Linebrink, adds DiGiovanna.  They're also very interested in starter C.J. Wilson, who's touring the country meeting with suitors.


American League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here

Updated team decisions:

Teams with decisions still due:



Twins Open To Bringing Matt Capps Back

The Twins had two players save 14+ games this past season, and one of them agreed to join the Rangers yesterday. Minnesota is open to bringing the other one back, as John Shipley of The Pioneer Press reports that both GM Terry Ryan and Matt Capps are open to a reunion. The two sides spoke on Tuesday morning.

Ryan acknowledged Capps' struggles in 2011, when the 28-year-old right-hander pitched to a 4.25 ERA in 65 2/3 innings and was regularly booed off the field at Target Field. "I would say I'm looking back two years ago to the type of year he had," said the GM, referring to the 2010 season. Capps saved 42 games for the Nationals and Twins that year, posting a 2.47 ERA in 73 innings.

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Capps will be treated as a Type-B free agent. The Twins would receive a supplement draft pick if he signs elsewhere, but his new team will not have to forfeit a pick. The Red Sox and Angels have expressed interest in the burly right-hander recently.


Modified Procedure For Type A Free Agents

Matt Capps, Francisco Cordero, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez and Darren Oliver were all Type A free agents under the Elias Rankings system, but they will now be treated as Type B free agents, the MLBPA announced. Teams won't have to surrender draft picks to sign them, but the players' former teams obtain a supplementary first round pick whether or not they offer arbitration tomorrow.

Meanwhile, clubs won't have to surrender a draft pick to sign one of the following six players: Heath Bell, Michael Cuddyer, Kelly Johnson, Ryan Madson, Josh Willingham and Francisco Rodriguez. Teams that lose these players after offering arbitration will obtain first round picks in the slot before the signing team plus a supplementary draft pick for a total of two selections.

Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, C.J. Wilson, David Ortiz, Jonathan Papelbon, Roy Oswalt, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins were also Type A free agents this offseason. They will cost one draft pick to sign. Their teams will obtain two total picks if they decline offers of arbitration to sign elsewhere, as expected. Takashi Saito and Carlos Beltran, two other Type As, cannot be offered arbitration. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported the changes.


Red Sox Rumors: Cespedes, Sveum, ACES, Crawford

The latest on the Red Sox…


Quick Hits: Phillips, Kuroda, Ortiz, Wood, Counsell

It's been a busy first day of the GM meetings, but we don't want to let anything fall through the cracks. Here's a collection of assorted links from throughout the day:


Kinzer On Ramirez, Capps, Lindsay

Agent Paul Kinzer confirmed to reporters today that Aramis Ramirez won’t re-sign with the Cubs. Here are the details plus more notes from the exchange (all links go to Twitter):


Twins Rumors: Ryan, Payroll

Terry Ryan returned to the role of Twins GM yesterday; here's the latest on the club.

  • Ryan will be the GM for as long as he wants to be, a member of the Twins organization told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  "I don't know if it'll be for one year or 10 years," Ryan said yesterday, noting that if he likes the job he expects owner Jim Pohlad to let him stay.
  • Ryan alluded to a $100MM payroll for 2012 yesterday, down from the $113-118MM range the Twins had in 2011.  However, Twins president David St. Peter told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Terry and I, frankly, have not had one discussion about our payroll for next year.  He’s been privy to it because nothing has changed from what we had been telling Bill [Smith]…I think it can be a fluid number. I’m hoping we can find a way to inch it forward."  Christensen guesses the Twins will ultimately have a payroll in the $110MM range.
  • If Kevin Slowey and Jose Mijares are not retained, I'd estimate the Twins' commitments in the $74MM range for 2012 before accounting for minimum salary players.  That could mean as much as $30MM to spend on 2012 salaries.
  • Ryan's said his first priority is to reach out to the agents for the team's own free agents: Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, Joe Nathan, and Matt Capps.  

Free Agent Closers’ Usage

The upcoming class of free agents figures to present an interesting study in the way teams are evaluating relievers these days. After Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, many of the most recognizable names are closers or relievers who have previously closed.

Modern analysis suggests it's foolish to invest heavily in relief pitchers due to their limited contributions and volatility in year-to-year production. But someone has to get those crucial late-inning outs, and the temptation for a team that thinks it's a contender to throw a lot of money at a guy who's coming off a year in which he posted a minuscule ERA or eye-popping strikeout rate is often too great.

Undoubtedly, suitors will use a variety of criteria to evaluate free-agent closers, one of which will be usage. Because usage can encompass so many things — innings, appearances, pitches, "high-stress" pitches, and so on — it's tough to say which is the most accurate reflection of a pitcher's workload; of course, this debate continues on for starters, too.

During the season, with the launch of CloserNews.com, we began keeping an eye on relievers who had pitched on three (and four) consecutive days, as that seems to be the breaking point for when most relievers must be rested. We've tallied that up here in a spreadsheet, along with a few other measures (standard and otherwise) of reliever usage, for the upcoming class of free-agent closers.

The objective here isn't to make any bold proclamations based on who threw the most innings; I may as well pen the inevitable mea culpa right now if it were. Rather, there are some interesting tidbits of note here, a few things to file away as these relievers ready themselves for free agency and teams prepare to bid.

  • Heath Bell and Francisco Cordero were the only two of this group to pitch on four consecutive days in 2011. Bell is the only one to do it twice.
  • Bell's abundance of pitches certainly seems to correspond with his dip in strikeout rate (7.32 K/9 in 2011 vs. 9.22 for career). Looks like he was having trouble putting away hitters, at least relative to his past performances.
  • Francisco Rodriguez paced the group by pitching on three consecutive days six times. 
  • Heavy usage is not unusual for K-Rod, though. He's pitched fewer than 65 innings only once in his nine full big league seasons, the red herring due to an off-field incident in 2010.
  • Info was culled from Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference.