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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. Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
      Joe A. Preusser -
      Quote Originally Posted by Knotholemike View Post
      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.
      I agree with most of what you said, but he HAS proven to be fairly effective in the past. I wouldn't be upset if they gave him just over a mil to see if he can round back into form. A million bucks is a lot to you and me, but not so much in MLB terms.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      I guess Capps for one million is reasonable, IF he can maintain a certain weight (a la Delmon). But it has to be one year or no deal.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      I.d do it. also wonder if Hawkins is available. I would rather have him.

      I think the Twins bullpen guraenteed spots at this point is Perkins, Burton, and Deunsing at this point. Swarzak and Burnett and Fien are likely at this point but could be swapped out.
    1. Knotholemike's Avatar
      Knotholemike -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      I guess Capps for one million is reasonable, IF he can maintain a certain weight (a la Delmon). But it has to be one year or no deal.
      $1M is NOT reasonable. If anyone had offered him a $1M major league contract he would have signed it in a heartbeat. He has not been effective in more than 1 year and there are plenty of younger options with potential upside available for the major league minimum. There are plenty of Capps-like players in AAA that can be had for a minor league deal and an invite.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      The bullpen on a team with this roster should be mostly young guys at this point. There is no good reason to have anyone from outside the organization added to the bullpen.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      I'm perfectly fine with a 1-year deal for Capps. I can even live with a deal that nets him over $1M. He's not a tremendous pitcher, but he is solid and if healthy you should know what you're gonna get. Frankly, his presence on the roster might get Gardy to use Perkins in more high-leverage situations.

      At $4-7M, he's overpaid badly. But he's not a bad bullpen arm and at a good price he could be a nice asset to a team that will need a strong bullpen.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Knotholemike View Post
      $1M is NOT reasonable. If anyone had offered him a $1M major league contract he would have signed it in a heartbeat. He has not been effective in more than 1 year and there are plenty of younger options with potential upside available for the major league minimum. There are plenty of Capps-like players in AAA that can be had for a minor league deal and an invite.
      Yep, I'm going back to my original stance. I agree with this totally. He is not worth signing at any price in my opinion. I'm sticking to this stance.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      The bullpen on a team with this roster should be mostly young guys at this point. There is no good reason to have anyone from outside the organization added to the bullpen.
      If Capps is outside the organization, lets keep it that way. Nothing personal. Just business
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      He is definitely worth 1 year, 1.5 mil or so.

      Do I want to think about how the Twins gave up Ramos every time he pitches for us? No I do not.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      This blog has a mighty fine point to speculate on given our current state. However, I couldn't help but think this the whole time:

      You know your offseason was a failure when.......
    1. Huey270's Avatar
      Huey270 -
      I'd take him for a million and hope he has a good year as he could be traded for a decent prospect in July.
    1. Huey270's Avatar
      Huey270 -
      You know your offseason was a failure when.....

      I'm talking about signing Matt Capps
    1. Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
      Joe A. Preusser -
      Quote Originally Posted by Knotholemike View Post
      $1M is NOT reasonable. If anyone had offered him a $1M major league contract he would have signed it in a heartbeat. He has not been effective in more than 1 year and there are plenty of younger options with potential upside available for the major league minimum. There are plenty of Capps-like players in AAA that can be had for a minor league deal and an invite.
      Respectfully I have to disagree. The league minimum is a whopping $500,000, not exactly chump change. You can either pay an unproven arm that amount, or double it for a guy like Capps. Capps would bring experience, not something to be dismissed. Now, if you were making the point that we should be getting our young arms more major league innings at the expense of a more seasoned veteran presence, then I would probably agree with that. But all else being equal, paying $500,000 for a no name AAA pitcher or $1 mil for Capps is as easy a choice as it gets. Capps gives you cheap experience and potential upside. Granted you have to be sure completely sure Capps is over his injury problems.

      And don't get me wrong, I'm not in love with this guy. But you could write down the name of any pitcher who has had Capps' past success and it would likely be the correct call to give him a 1 mil/1 contract. It just isn't that much money in MLB terms and the bargain potential is too great. If he washes out then send him packing, no big loss.
    1. snepp's Avatar
      snepp -
      I'd take a healthy Capps at $1 mil over Burnett any day. Burnett has an option available too, send him to AAA, bring him back if/when Capps craps or gets traded.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      I thought this site had a anti Capps system?
      oh me bad, why resign Capps? if we have a roster spot (we do , no need to give butrea a spot on the 40 man roster) then why not claim tony abreu?
      If capps was a lefty by all means sign him , but i think we have plenty of canidants from the right side to fill out the pen.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Nygaard View Post
      You had me at "lurking".
      Pressly, Wood and Roenicke have to be depressed. Not only is the likes of Swarzack's below-replacement, -0.2 WAR blocking them, now they are being haunted by the prospect of a wounded, flatballing, overweight "lurker" taking their spot (Capps 2-year WAR is -0.4).
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      You can view the page at Twins Daily - Calling on Capps?
      And I foolishly got sucked into this thread thinking the Twins were calling on Carter Capps.

      I find it hard to fathom that the Twins FO haven't deleted Matt Capps' number from their speed dial.
    1. howeda7's Avatar
      howeda7 -
      I'd be OK with Capps if Gardy weren't the manager. I'm afraid Perkins would have to look over his shoulder after 1-2 bad outings. The Punto of the bullpen.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      The Twins have discussed a plan to limit Kyle Gibson to between 130 and 140 innings during the 2013 season as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

      The 25-year-old right-hander says that he'll do whatever the Twins ask of him, but that his goal is to get to the big leagues as soon as possible. Twins GM Terry Ryan indicated that they may utilize a plan similar to how the Braves used Kris Medlen last season, where he began the year in the bullpen, and then transitioned to the rotation after the all-star break.

      Source: 1500ESPN.com
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Please no. He is the Nick Punto of relievers. Occasionally brilliant. Frequently horrible. Mostly mediocre. And a favorite of one Ronald Clyde Gardenhire.
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