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  • Capps Redux?

    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, 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.
    This article was originally published in blog: Capps Redux? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 26 Comments
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
    1. wavedog's Avatar
      wavedog -
      He would not be my first choice, but I could see him as a fallback if we don't sign a free agent off the street. He is better than some of the other right-handed relievers we have with the exception of Burton. We should be able to sign him for under $2M to be the 7th inning/8th inning guy behind Burton.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      I would not be surprised to see Capps, Pavano, Baker and Blackburn all with the Twins come opening day. I'd be really disappointed but not surprised.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
      you hit that out of the park , perfectly said
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
      you hit that out of the park , perfectly said
      Except Punto's had 500 AB's in a season exactly ZERO times. He's hit 500 PA's only twice. In one of those years he put up a 290/352/373. Were you sad about not getting more time for Tony Batista that year? Or was it someone else you just had to have on the field to feel good? The following year he got to 500 PA's again and was pretty bad at the plate....and I'm still not sure who on that roster you were wanting to play instead. I promise you it's possible to be snarky and negative without telling lies. Although you might have to think a tad more, that's not the worst thing in the world.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Going out of your way to bring back the scapegoats from a terrible team is a great way to endear oneself to a fanbase on the brink of revolt.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
      you hit that out of the park , perfectly said
      Except Punto's had 500 AB's in a season exactly ZERO times. He's hit 500 PA's only twice. In one of those years he put up a 290/352/373. Were you sad about not getting more time for Tony Batista that year? Or was it someone else you just had to have on the field to feel good? The following year he got to 500 PA's again and was pretty bad at the plate....and I'm still not sure who on that roster you were wanting to play instead. I promise you it's possible to be snarky and negative without telling lies. Although you might have to think a tad more, that's not the worst thing in the world.
      there is nothing wrong with little nicky , just someone whos name i wont say , decided punto was going to be what he wasnt ....a starter, nick is a very good sub , not a starter, imagine if harmon ,bert and rod played for gardenhire , none would be in the hof today,bert missed to many bats and anderson would limit him to 5-6 innings , harmon would be benched for not going the other way and rod would need to be more versitle and need more then 30 games a year on the bench so that jim nettles and jerry terrel could stay fresh
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Nick Punto... The Memories of Nick Punto...You could look at it this way... We won a lot of games when Punto was an active member of our Roster. We've lost a lot of games since he has left our roster.

      I'm not saying Punto is the reason. I'm saying he clearly didn't hurt our club during his stay. He gave it everything he had and came to play everyday. I refuse to hate him.

      As for Capps... Too expensive for the output. We can do better. We need a flamethower or two out of the pen who can get a strikeout with runners on 2nd and 3rd and nobody out.
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
      you hit that out of the park , perfectly said
      Except Punto's had 500 AB's in a season exactly ZERO times. He's hit 500 PA's only twice. In one of those years he put up a 290/352/373. Were you sad about not getting more time for Tony Batista that year? Or was it someone else you just had to have on the field to feel good? The following year he got to 500 PA's again and was pretty bad at the plate....and I'm still not sure who on that roster you were wanting to play instead. I promise you it's possible to be snarky and negative without telling lies. Although you might have to think a tad more, that's not the worst thing in the world.

      Calm down brother...it was meant as hyperbole.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      Heck, I'm even ok with Capps being used as a "closer" again, so long as he's not PAID like one. That would keep Perkins in use in likely more high-leverage roles and be more of a classic "fireman". as long as we collect him on the cheap ($1-2M) he'd be a useful piece.
    1. mysonlikes7's Avatar
      mysonlikes7 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.
      you hit that out of the park , perfectly said
      Except Punto's had 500 AB's in a season exactly ZERO times. He's hit 500 PA's only twice. In one of those years he put up a 290/352/373. Were you sad about not getting more time for Tony Batista that year? Or was it someone else you just had to have on the field to feel good? The following year he got to 500 PA's again and was pretty bad at the plate....and I'm still not sure who on that roster you were wanting to play instead. I promise you it's possible to be snarky and negative without telling lies. Although you might have to think a tad more, that's not the worst thing in the world.
      When I initally ready sorney's comment, I didn't immediately run to the Twins official stat book to see if Punto indeed had 500 ABs like CDog did. And obviously Sorney didn't consult the stat book before writing his comment. Sorney made his point effectively through a bit of exaggeration. You don't need to take every stat written in the comments section as the gospel truth. Relax and take the comments, especially the ones that are dripping with sarcasm and exaggeration, for what they are.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota;60611[/QUOTE View Post
      harmon would be benched for not going the other way
      You had some good points going until this part. Please tell me you were grossly exaggerating just to make a point.
    1. CDog's Avatar
      CDog -
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.

      Calm down brother...it was meant as hyperbole.
      So what we're left with is that you wanted to come here and put stink on Gardenhire for an imagined and invented mis-use of a theoretical 2013 Capps by using an exaggerated (one could say BS instead) accusation of mis-use of a past player ( when that was more accurately probably the best player available to be used in the role in question)? Am I calm enough to have that about right?
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      Capps can't come back for multiple reasons:

      1) He would be to expensive for a middle relief / setup man the Twins would use him for.

      2) The Twins bullpen is decent. A right handed middle reliever is not needed right now.

      3) It would be an unmitigated PR disaster. Capps is the poster child for all of the poor decisions made in recent years by the Twins. Bringing him back would be a reminder of the loss of Ramos, the draft pick, and $13 mil for 12 blown saves.

      Capps is a capable reliever, just not a high paid closer. He just needs to go away.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      No need to beat a dead horse. If Ryan intends to sign three SPs, and stay within budget, some salary has to be shed. By admitting the need for three new SPs that implies the team is nearly in complete rebuild mode, especially with other statements concerning 3B and SS. The Morneau issue has yet to reach the "comment stage", but it must and will reach it.
    1. It's The Trees.'s Avatar
      It's The Trees. -
      did anyone else think capps was about 36, and not 29?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
      3) It would be an unmitigated PR disaster. Capps is the poster child for all of the poor decisions made in recent years by the Twins. Bringing him back would be a reminder of the loss of Ramos, the draft pick, and $13 mil for 12 blown saves.
      This shouldn't be a consideration, in my opinion. The Twins shouldn't let public perception of a potential move dictate whether they do it or not. If it's a good baseball decision, you make it happen. Certainly they should move on if he's looking for anything more than a couple million, but I'm not sure he'll be able to do so. He ranks pretty low on the list of free agent relievers and the Twins won't be all over him early driving up the price again.

      Also, saying a "middle-handed reliever is not needed right now" is awfully cavalier based on out-of-nowhere performances from a couple injury-prone guys in their late 20s. I like Burton and Fien as much as the next guy but it doesn't hurt to hedge your bets a little bit.
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.

      Calm down brother...it was meant as hyperbole.
      So what we're left with is that you wanted to come here and put stink on Gardenhire for an imagined and invented mis-use of a theoretical 2013 Capps by using an exaggerated (one could say BS instead) accusation of mis-use of a past player ( when that was more accurately probably the best player available to be used in the role in question)? Am I calm enough to have that about right?
      its been a pleasure....
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Also, saying a "middle-handed reliever is not needed right now" is awfully cavalier based on out-of-nowhere performances from a couple injury-prone guys in their late 20s. I like Burton and Fien as much as the next guy but it doesn't hurt to hedge your bets a little bit.
      +1.

      Not that it matters, but on another subject...I find myself agreeing with cdog in this thread. First time for everything, I guess.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by CDog View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      I view Capps the same way I viewed Punto....they can't sign him because Gardy, much like with giving Punto 500 at bats, won't be able to help himself and will use him as a closer.

      Calm down brother...it was meant as hyperbole.
      So what we're left with is that you wanted to come here and put stink on Gardenhire for an imagined and invented mis-use of a theoretical 2013 Capps by using an exaggerated (one could say BS instead) accusation of mis-use of a past player ( when that was more accurately probably the best player available to be used in the role in question)? Am I calm enough to have that about right?
      its been a pleasure....
      Wish we could say the same.
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