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  • Calling on Capps?

    Will the Minnesota Twins re-sign Matt Capps?He’s still lurking out there.

    As the offseason nears its close and spring training rapidly approaches, Matt Capps remains a free agent. Since the Twins bought out his 2013 option back in October, there has been very little buzz surrounding the right-handed reliever. At this point, one would have to believe that he could easily be signed to a fairly cheap one-year deal.

    Should the Twins be the ones to give it to him?

    At the beginning of the offseason, Terry Ryan surprisingly stated that his No. 2 priority behind starting pitching was the bullpen. Unless you're confident that Rich Harden is going to become a quality reliever or one of the various iffy minor-league arms they brought in will pan out, nothing has really been done to address that unit as of yet.

    Capps invokes a lot of strong emotions for Twins fans – mostly negative. The team gave up too much to acquire him in the first place and spent too much to retain him, myopically focusing on his experience as a closer rather than viewing him as what he is: a perfectly serviceable yet unspectacular righty arm for the late innings.

    Now, the Twins have their closer in Glen Perkins, and overpaying for Capps is no longer a real concern. Relievers don’t typically land big contracts in late January, and even if Terry Ryan were to pay a bit more in a one-year pact than we’d like, it doesn’t really matter as that money isn’t going to prevent him from making any moves he would have otherwise.

    There are enough intriguing arms in the mix for relief jobs this year that one could envision the Twins cobbling together a decent unit without any additions, but Capps would immediately become one of their most established players and would increase the margin for error if, say, Jared Burton’s injury issues reemerge or Casey Fien regresses.

    Capps wasn’t a great closer and his strikeout rate has plummeted in the past two seasons, coinciding with a velocity drop, but his 1.17 WHIP during that span is quite solid and he’s still under 30. As long as there aren’t major lingering questions about his health, he seems like a good bet to be an average middle reliever at worst, and a reliable setup man at best.

    That would make him an asset. Even if his ability to protect leads ends up mattering little in what’s shaping up to be another down year, a bounceback campaign would position him to be flipped for something of value around the deadline (albeit not a Wilson Ramos).

    Capps has caused me and others plenty of frustration over the past few years, but if you take away all that history he looks like a fine, logical option for a team looking to shore up its rotation with a solid veteran. The Twins are familiar with Capps and clearly value his presence in the clubhouse. Why not go out and get him, adding a slight jolt to this winter of inaction?
    This article was originally published in blog: Calling on Capps? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      You had me at "lurking".
    1. Ultima Ratio's Avatar
      Ultima Ratio -
      Is there a straighter, flatter fastball in the majors? Whatever, one million/one year. Do it... I guess... maybe.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      I would think that someone may pay him more than $1 million. I think he got $4.5 million last year and over $7 million in 2011. I have no idea what he will get, but if he can be had for $1 million, that seems reasonable to me.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      If Capps ever learned to throw a straight change with that same fastball motion, batters would screw themselves into the ground trying to hit it.

      But he didn't.
    1. Highabove's Avatar
      Highabove -
      I will take Matt Capps over Alex Burnett, any time of the week.
    1. Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
      Joe A. Preusser -
      I am Mr. Second Chance, I will give almost any player the benefit of doubt and put a positive spin on their chances to regain form. But this...wow. I find myself extremely reluctant. 1.2 - 1.5 million tops. Anything more just seems like throwing money into the same old used car when you should be going out and getting someting newer and more reliable. Something that drives nicer, too.
    1. benhertz's Avatar
      benhertz -
      If he is willing to sign for under $2.5 million, I think he'd be a good reliever.

      I'll always root for him, as long as he's a Twin.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Non-guaranteed deal with fat clause?
    1. Mark_RM's Avatar
      Mark_RM -
      Signing him to a 1-year deal is a reasonable thing to do...though I don't think I'll ever get over the Pavlovian nausea when I see him on the mound...
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Highabove View Post
      I will take Matt Capps over Alex Burnett, any time of the week.
      I typed out a sentence with multiple fat jokes but gave up and deleted it. Instead, I'll just agree with this post.
    1. Knotholemike's Avatar
      Knotholemike -
      What are you guys smokin'? $1M - $2.5M for Capps, no way. He'll get a minor league deal with a spring training invite. What he made in the past does not matter. He has not shown the ability to put hitters away in more than a year. He is replacement level at best, and there are lots of guys like him who could be had on a minor league deal.
    1. LimestoneBaggy's Avatar
      LimestoneBaggy -
      Initially, I was going to agree that a 1/1M deal sounds reasonable. But Capps > Slama? I'm not so sure (even if the scouts are). I'd probably still give him 1M and then move Burnett's desk to the basement of Hammond Stadium and "forget" to pay him....I said, NO SALT.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      At this point he'd probably be a bargain, but the Twins have so many young options for the bullpen I'd be reluctant. The Twins are already giving spots to Perkins, Burton, Duensing, Swarzak and Burnett.

      Though in my book Burnett and Swarzak are expendable, the Twins surely will be giving them a spot if healthy. If Capps was in the mix, that would leave one spot for Fein, Pressly, Wood, Robertson, Harden and Roenicke taking dark horses completely out of the equation, guys like Theilbar, Guerra and Slama. This also greatly hinders the option of putting the sixth or seventh starter in the bullpen to start the season.

      This team is rebuilding, they need to see what they have in some of these younger options.

      Last year the Twins had three open spots, they gave them to Gray, Maloney and Burton. Had they only had one open spot, would they still have found gold in Burton?
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      Nick's argument is very reasonable. Sound. Logical.
      Matt Capps really seems like a heckuva guy that I'd love to have a beer and plate of wings with.

      However, I am a fan.
      I don't enjoy watching Capps pitch. From the first time I saw him pitch, I have not enjoyed watching him pitch. After that, it got much worse. I can't imagine I'll begin finding enjoyment in watching him pitch just because he makes less money.

      I'd like to see his next Twin's contract be as a minor league coach.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      Sounds like something Ryan would do.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Can we be sure that Gardy wouldn't hand Capps the closer role back?
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
      Is there a straighter, flatter fastball in the majors? Whatever, one million/one year. Do it... I guess... maybe.
      NO way! A million for Capps?! How about a minor league contract?
    1. LewFordLives's Avatar
      LewFordLives -
      I concur with the logic of "nicksaviking". I'll even go further and say that Fein is close to a lock and the Twins have to keep Pressley on the major league roster or work out a trade. While I wouldn't have any strong objections to Capps as a 7th-8th inning guy, he's just not a good fit given the Twins current situation.
    1. Huey270's Avatar
      Huey270 -
      We have the money and you can never have enough pitching so if it's reasonable I'd sign him.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Huey270 View Post
      We have the money and you can never have enough pitching so if it's reasonable I'd sign him.
      You can never have enough GOOD pitching. You CAN have enough bad pitching. 2012 and 2011 are good examples of that. Capps was a major part of both those bullpens.
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