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Do the Twins have a potential winner here?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:24 PM
OK...less than 30 days until the start of Spring Training. In the great scheme of things, we know nothing of what will ultimately transpi...
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Article: Center Of Attention

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:24 PM
At the beginning of this month, I projected the Twins Opening Day roster. When spring training begins, I’ll update that list. There are f...
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Twins players season predictions

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:11 PM
Saw a "bold predictions" at the other MN site, but thought it would be interesting what the smarter fans would have to say here. I am cop...
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Require Relievers to Face More than 1 Batter? I think I...

MLB Baseball Today, 08:16 PM
There have been a number of proposals for speeding up the game.  While I favor enforcing the current rules, I'm not really in favor...
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Article: First Round Busts?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 08:10 PM
For the Minnesota Twins, two events in this past week bookend a disappointing era for first-round draft picks.On Friday it was announced...
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Recent Blogs


Capps Redux?

Attached Image: capps1.jpg In recent days, the Twins have announced a few procedural moves that weren't especially surprising. Among them were the decisions to decline 2013 options for Scott Baker and Matt Capps, which would have paid $9.25 million and $6 million, respectively. With both hurlers coming off seasons severely affected by injuries, there was no incentive for the Twins to pay such a high price when they could easily negotiate a better deal in free agency.

They have already begun trying to do so with Baker, who told reporters that his side has been talking with the club and that "we're not close, but we're definitely closer than when it started."

There's been no such steam surrounding Capps[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK], who unlike Baker actually pitched this year, although his health and effectiveness were issues for a second consecutive campaign. Even if they're not currently engaged with Capps and his agent, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point in the offseason the Twins opened a conversation to see what kind of deal could be struck. And, despite the justifiably negative connotations that surround the former closer here in Minnesota, that wouldn't necessarily be the worst idea in the world.

Capps was overpaid in 2011, when he earned $7.15 million to post a 4.25 ERA over 65 2/3 innings, converting only 15 of 24 saves while misguidedly pitching through forearm pain. He took a pay cut this year, re-signing for $4.75 million, but again proved overpaid as shoulder problems limited him to less than 30 innings.

After back-to-back disappointing seasons, Capps figures to land a reduced contract as a setup man during the offseason. And, on those terms, he's really not a terrible bet.

It bears noting that when he was healthy this year, the right-hander pitched reasonably well, posting a 3.68 ERA while allowing only 28 hits and four walks in his 29 1/3 innings of work. This continued a career-long trend of limiting baserunners, as Capps has registered a 1.19 WHIP in his seven uneven seasons as a big-leaguer. Keeping mean off base has generally been a reliable skill for him, and is a good recipe for success even when you're not able to rack up many strikeouts.

By no means is Capps a great pitcher, and after the last few seasons I'm sure most Twins fans would eagerly watch him walk off into the sunset never to return. Nevertheless, as a 29-year-old with his value as low as it's ever been, he could be a relative bargain if signed later in the offseason to a one-year deal, provided the Twins aren't tempted to pay him as – or use him as – a closer.


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