That’s a bit less than the $1.3MM payday that MLBTR projected him to earn via arbitration, though Capps did not have a strong case for much of a raise. Last year, in his first season of eligibility, he earned $987,500, but did not pitch much in the ensuing season. He can be controlled for one additional campaign through the arb process.
Capps, 27, came to the Friars in the complicated 2016 Andrew Cashner deadline swap. At the time, Capps was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He finally made it back to the hill late in the 2017 campaign, though only in time to throw 12 1/3 innings. And his season ended with another procedure, this time to address thoracic outlet syndrome.
The latest surgery came after Capps showed diminished form in his return to the majors. He managed only seven strikeouts against two walks in his 11 appearances late in 2017. Of greater concern, perhaps, he worked in the 93 mph range with his fastball, over five miles per hour less than his peak.
Still, the Padres are obviously willing to stake a fairly minor bet on a rebound; the hope, perhaps, is that he can show renewed life after the thoracic outlet procedure. The upside is undeniable: Capps was utterly dominant in a breakout 2015 campaign, when he ran a 25.4% swinging-strike rate, 16.8 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9, and 1.16 ERA over 31 innings.