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Can the Twins Afford to Release Mauer?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:00 PM
Obviously they need to pay him $46mil through 2018, no matter what.Whether it is due to concussion related issues or other physical malad...
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Article: Seth's Preliminary Top 50 Twins Prospects: P...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:54 AM
Today, I’m sharing Part 2 of my prospect countdown, prospects 31-40. In Part 1, we’ll looked at my choices for prospects 41-50. This is a...
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Article: Penciling A 2017 Starting Rotation

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:57 AM
The first and most important objective for any incoming baseball ops chief, in terms of roster construction, will be assembling a rotatio...
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What big named Free agent pitchers are available this off...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:49 AM
Just curious, is there anyone out there that could be that difference maker that the Twins could just go out and buy??A new GM may get a...
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Alex Meyer called up to LAA

Other Baseball Today, 11:45 AM
Pitched a gem the other night for them. $20 says he becomes a solid #2 for them for the next 4-5 years.
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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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