It's Matt Capps Signing Day

The anticipation has reached a fever pitch as Pirates closer Matt Capps is expected to make his final decision today. Take the main set-up role and back-up closing duties in Chicago for a team that shouldn't completely suck...on the sale floor they like to say they're a team in contention.

Or...

Close for a team that has been the worst in baseball over the last two years and big acquisitions so far have been signing Ivan Rodriguez about seven years too late and signing Jason Marquis (insert own joke here). It would stand that as a closer for the Nationals, he'll probably get even less chances than he did in Pittsburgh.

The money being rumored is in the two year, $7-8M range, basically Grabow money. I wasn't overly thrilled with what they gave Grabow or how quickly they gave it to him. On the other hand, I think Capps is a better pitcher despite the hiccup last season, so it certainly wouldn't be the worst middle relief contract Hendry ever handed out.

If Capps decides he wants to close and signs with the Nationals, the Cubs could move on to rehab projects like Kelvim Escobar or maybe hope they can find enough money in the Ricketts sofa cushions to sign Jose Valverde if his price drops after mistakenly not taking the Astros arbitation offer.

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I always liked Valverde. When he was with Arizona we couldn't hit him...

Jason Marquis...um..he..isn't a great pitcher?

Hahahaha....um, yeah.

I'd make more jokes about Marquis, but I'd take him as the fifth starter right now, at least with Lilly scheduled to miss April.

Zambrano
Dempster
Wells
?
?

Marshall, Gorzelanny, Caridad, Atkins, Samardzija, Pitcher X?
2 spots to fill worries me.

Carlos Silva says "Hi".

He also says, "burp".

Lol...yeah...there's a reason I didn't list him.....oof.
Well at least he'll...I got nothin'...

Guess he'll get at least April to redeem himself.

Just as a point of information, because he is a non-tendered free-agent rather than an Article XX MLB free-agent, Matt Capps will not get automatic "no trade" rights through June 15th.

What's interesting about the Matt Capps sweepstakes is that apparently ex-Pirate teammates John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny have been rushing Capps from the Cubs side, while ex-Buc teammates Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan have been pimping the Nats.

How does one pimp the Nats?

"It's, um, low pressure here? You'll get to close on the twenty occasions a year when we have a 1-3-run lead in the 9th? Go to Chicago. Take me with you."

Shuddup. Just the idea of pimping the Nats should be good enough for you, you cynical bastard.

Capps' wife is also close friends with the wives of Grabow and Gorzelanny.

Which strongly suggests to me that on the eve of Christmas Eve, Capps is not likely to tell his wife that he had every chance to fulfill her wish to go to Chicago, and still chose to go to D.C.

Any husbands out there disagree?

I heard the same information from Capps' interview with Bruce Levine on Talking Baseball this past Saturday.

I usually hate speculation but I did notice that Capps ended the conversation with Bruce by saying "I look forward to meeting you guys."

Maybe he gave us his answer right there. It would be nice to have him...especially for the three week stretch that Marmol will inevitably go through where he overthrows his slider and can't throw strikes.

Heard the same thing.

FWIW Foxsports Rosenthal and MLB.Com's Ladson think Capps will sign with the Nationals.

"If it's better suited for me to set up for the team in the seventh inning or eighth inning, that's what I'll do," Capps said. "If they sign me and tell me they want me to play shortstop, I'll play shortstop. I want to win. I want to be in an environment [where winning is important]."

-From Matt Capps in MLB.com's Ladson article (beat writer for the Nats). If anyone listened to the audio when he was on Bruce Lisspy Levine's Talkin' Baseball, he said the exact same thing about the Cubs.

He does add this tid bit "All signs are looking good with what they are trying to do so far."

The other interesting footnote is that he would still have to compete with Brian Bruney for the closer role (maybe competition to say its competition), but he still could end up playing for another team that ends up finishing last in that division and setting up, while making less money. The Braves and Phils have made upgrades, the Marlins are young and developing, and the Braves are trying to improve offensively. The Mets will do something, just a matter of time. But even if they just get healthy, I would not lock them in for last place.

It would be an embarrassment to lose out to the Nats. It's completely possible, though.

If we lose out to the Nats it just means the guy isn't motivated to win. How is that bad?

Why was he holding a baseball bat in that photo? Was he supposed to have used that thing while he was here?

Did you catch this yesterday? Mesa, AZ says the Cubs have eliminated the Gila River indian reservation bid from consideration for the new spring training complex. The battle is down to Mesa vs Naples.

On the other hand, the Cubs have refused to tell Mesa which one or two of ~10 possible sites in Mesa they prefer.

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/148693

Did they choose a Florida site yet?

I feel pretty strongly that the Cubs should have spring training in a high crime neighborhood like florida.

Nope. And, for that matter, the Naples group hasn't even figured out how to finance the project yet.

Is Florida still murdering their tourists?

mlbtr and rotoworld saying that Pirates, to replace Capps, are offering Octavio Dotel $3M, to sign as a closer.

http://bases.nbcsports.com/2009/12/report-the...

...been awhile since Dotel closed and as I recall he had Hawkins disease (better in the 8th than the 9th).

Stark only writes about his LVP, Juan Gonzalez, but lists 3 former Cubs as honorable mentions. #10 is Neifi. #7 is Bradley. And #3 is Corey Patterson.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?c...

If Stark puts Pavano as #5, I'd suggest he consider adding the original 3/44 to his list. Also might consider Mike Hampton if you're talking value per contract dollar.

Aaron Miles.

Yes, I'm still pissed about Aaron Miles.

according to Randy Hundley

http://baseballmusings.com/?p=45267

Randy was out in the sun too much if it took him 40 years to come to that conclusion.

From the article.

"The Cubs had five regulars play over 150 games that season."

Of course the Yankees had over five regulars play 150 or more games this season, and the Phillips had six.

and the Phillips had six.
---
Cincy's second baseman too?

108 day games in '69 for Hundley, 58 for Jeter this year fwiw...

Derosa by the Giants according to Heyman

Levine has a new post re Capps; not much new here...

http://espn.go.com/chicago/columns/blog?name=...

Levine: the Cubs will contact Kinzer sometime Wednesday evening with either a proposal in hand or stating that they are bowing out of negotiations. Either way, Capps is expected to sign with a new team before midnight Wednesday.
---
This implies Hendry hasn't given Capps a proposal yet? But when he does get a proposal it will be an obvious decision?

Something smells here.

What's taking Capps so long?! It's almost 4 PM in Washington D.C..

Damn drama queen.

See the article above. The Cubs are supposedly going to send Capps an offer this evening or bow out. I think we're waiting on the Cubs, not Capps.

He's picking up a Tiger scrap. Give him a few more seconds.

Fernando Rodney now an Angel @ 2/11, see it's not that hard to sign a reliever.

egads...his ERA hasn't been under 4 since 2006.

This is such an odd feeling that we have been exclusively preoccupied with Hendry cleaning up his own pile of shit, then, waiting to see what scrap-heap players he can sign to small deals.

GO CUBS!

the "cleanup" was a distraction.

from the minute the season ended all the cubs were looking for was relief help, a milton replacement, and maybe a low-end SP.

it seems all of that is falling into place so far...2010's money is not only mostly spent, but the team itself is pretty much ready-to-go as-is.

and maybe a low-end SP.
---
lowest end. nicely played...synonym for Carlos Silva

seems that what the resolution is...

for those holding out hope silva can do something...the guy has 2 pitches, his sinker lost it's bite years ago, he throws everything in the zone, and it's not getting any better.

the guy had 3 things going for him...stamina to pitch, a ground ball pitch, and someone willing to pay him stupid loot to do it.

i'm not that thrilled about caridad, either. his stuff doesn't have much movement.

I wonder how receptive the A's would be in trading Ryan Sweeney and/or Eric Patterson?

Both are cheap, under club control for at least 4 more years.

Potential upside is the answer for both CF and 2nd base.

Downside isn't much, other than what you'd have to trade to get them. Shouldn't be too high? Assume that a non-Castro SS prospect would be involved.

cubs aren't looking any more OF bench help i'd imagine. patterson and 2nd base was a doomed thing even when he was a cub.

Aren't we looking for someone to platoon with Fukudome?

yeah, there is room for a RH bench OF'r...could see that happening. dunno about a platoon, though RF ability should be an attribute.

Olney says it's Nationals on a one year deal, his agent says nothing will be decided until late tonight.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4...

Gee ROB G, perhaps my eyes are really bad, but all I saw was the Nationals were "closing in...". And, more so, I saw nothing on length, terms, etc.

That is read from the link you embeded.

How do you get "...Nationals ON a one-year deal", out of that?

perhaps your eyes are really bad...

The first line of the story...

The Washington Nationals are closing in on a one-year deal with Matt Capps, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

Sorry, but "closing in..." is a much different implication than, "Olney 'says its Nationals on a one-year deal'", so my eyes are bad missing the one year deal, yet you may be a bit presumptuous on the interpretation from what's written.

Coco B Crisp's contract:

the deal with pay Crisp $4.75MM in 2010, with a $5.75MM option for 2011. The buyout for the 2011 option is $500K, making the one-year contract worth $5.25MM. (via MLBTraderumors).

:doesn't bode well for what we're going to give Byrd. I was thinking about a million a year less for Coco.

I am trying to ease the queezy feeling in my stomache I get whenever Byrd and the Cubs are linked... Come on trade or Ankiel!

Funny, I get the same feeling whenever I see Ankiel and Cubs in the same sentence.

I didn't get a chance to read comments about my Ankiel as CF idea but if you're making fun of me I wouldn't blame you. My gut tells me he is just a good hitting pitcher but my cubs side wants him to somehow pick it up and roll and beat the deadbirds down.

I wouldn't be a Cubs fan if I didn't have fantasies to roll with.

No, not making fun. Just the thought of Hendry signing another new outfielder makes me queezy.

He's so good at it, you see.

And.pass the dramamine, we could wind up with Ankiel.

If Capps signs with the Nats - fuck him.

Same old same old - he states he wants to "Play for a contender." Yet, he'll sign with a last place team. Go figure.

Well, IIRC, they had the best "O" in the NL - or near the top, anyway.

And with MArquis aboard - they are guaranteed a Playoff spot.

He is the good luck charm.

Would you blame him? At this point, all things considered... Nats, Cubs... meh.

Nah i wouldn't blame him. Just, I find these guys hippocrates. Just keep your mouth shut and don't bullshit people on how, If they ask me to play shortstop, I will.".

That's the only thing that is just a fabrication.

Belly up to the bar and say, "I am happy to get the opportunity to close for a last-place team."

You find these guys to be the father of western medicine?

I think you were looking for "hypocrites" . . .

haha! very good! No doubt Cubster will get me on this! lol

Hemlock?

Nats Journal

Nothing official yet with Capps
[UPDATE, 10:30 p.m.] -- Just exchanged texts again with Kinzer. He said nothing new has solidified since we last talked. So deeper into the night we go...

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjou...

Missing out on Capps could prove crucial. Not to be one for the dramatic, but the Cubs bullpen is very much unproven. If this team thinks that going into the season and not getting a centerfielder is a problem, wait until the bullpen comes in.

kiko calero's still out there and supposedly on the cubs radar most of the offseason.

http://twitter.com/washingnats/status/6989351303

per the Nats Carrie Muskat equivalent at mlb.com...shudders (Wm Ladson):

Matt Capps is not close to a deal with the Nats. His agent, Paul Kinzer, is still talking to GM Mike Rizzo.

---
same source says:

Capps may not agree to a deal until Christmas Eve or right after Christmas. Capps thought he was close to a deal early this evening.

http://twitter.com/washingnats/status/6989495256

Brian Roberts and Jake Peavy have agreed to represent Matt Capps in concluding these negotiations

Nats Journal again

Posted at 11:54 PM ET, 12/23/2009
Still waiting on Capps
So as midnight comes and passes, here's where things stand: The Washington Nationals are still waiting to learn if Matt Capps, their latest free agent target, will agree to a contract offer and become their next closer.

from Ladson on twitter:

Matt Capps has agreed to terms with the Nationals, according to his agent Paul Kinzer. One year deal, no $$ disclosed yet.

http://twitter.com/washingnats

Kiko Calero here we come...

Whatever.

MAtt Capps, "Whatever it takes..."

bullshit...bullshit...bullshit

Good luck on the last place team dude.

Hope you are able to make league average appearances.

I see that the mlb.com writers have mobile web link pages...

m.mlb.com/chc

or in Matt Capps case:

m.mlb.com/wsh

Levine has more details

The deal is for $3.5 million for 2010, with a chance to make another $425,000 in performance bonuses. The performance incentives kick in at 40-65 games finished.

Capps

The deal went down to the end between the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets and Washington, Capps' agent, Paul Kinzer, said. The Mets were a late entry into the Capps pursuit, offering a similar contract to what Capps signed for with Washington.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4...

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/arti...

the detailed Capps story from the Nats mlb.com writer

Well, he would have been a good fit, but if your off-season hinges on signing Matt Capps, then you were fucked to start off.

Agreed...of course, fucked is what the Cubs could be. It's gonna be a bumpy ride until the season starts...

It might not stop being a bumby ride when the season starts too.

Nope..I have a feeling it might look a lot like last year...83-79..

Honestly given the division, that might be enough to win it. The Cards are likely to lose atleast one of if not both Holliday and DeRosa. Their top 3 pitchers in the rotation (Carpenter, Wainright and Penny) while extermely talented are just as injury prone. Carpenter pitched like 95% of the season last year and I doubt he can repeat it. The Astros arent bringing back Tejada, did nothing to stregthen their rotation, though they did a decent job adding to their pen. Do you really think Randy Wolf is the cure to all of the Brewers pitching woes?

The only good that will come out of 83 wins next year will be the firing of Jim Hendry. I don't even think Teflon Jim would be able to survive an 83 win season with no playoffs.

I hate to say it, but long term for the organization the best outcome for them might be the situation above and get a real GM in here to properly build this team.

TRN,
Agree 100%.

Can't blame Hendry on this one. Obviously playing for a contender was not that important to Capps. He wanted to stay a closer and hopefully up his value going into next offseason. It is a pretty bad sign for Cubs and Mets fans though that they couldn't land a guy like this even though it is not make or break.

I do give Hendry credit though, this offseason isn't as bad as last, mainly because he hasn't done anything really except unload his disaster from last offseason.

I am not optimistic about this season at all.

There is no Plan B for Carlos Marmol, which I was hoping Capps would be.

Well, there's still a chance that Valverde winds up being the man left out and we can get him cheap on a one-year deal like Alou wound up taking last year.

There's also a chance Hendry decides to say "screw it, we'll use Blake Parker" and puts the money towards signing Hudson, which is probably what I would do at this point. If the bullpen faulters, trade during the season.

Capps would pitch more innings for the Cubs than he would for the Nats. Nevermind about CF our pitching is weak. Zambrano is streaky, Lilly is comming off shoulder surgery, Dempster isn't much more than a number 3, Lets see how Wells does now that hitters have faced him last year. The Bullpen is inexperienced and wouldn't strike fear in a AA team.

I know that I have a biased opinion, but Capps is taking the Washinton job in hopes of closing. He signed a one year deal, so essentially he wants to close and then land a big deal the following year, and as we know, the market is soft for high priced closers (see Jose Valverde, but Capps will be 27 albeit). So, why not take a chance at setting up and have more innings pitched under your belt. We know that Hendry is not shy about tossing money to relievers (unless Capps knows something we don't about next year's offseason). I would like to see what the terms of Hendry's offer were. One year? Two years?

What's Capps service time? It looks like 4+ which means although he signed a one year deal, he'll be arb-eligible next year and Nats can either offer arbitration or non-tender him.

"But I really like the decisions the Nationals have made this offseason and their commitment to winning beyond 2010. I'm excited about what can be."

- Matt Capps on Washington's offseason. he must be refering to the aging Marquis signing who is with his 5th team and will have a great 1st half. Marquis should look into the Clemens 3 month work program.

Marquis is also on about a 8 year playoff run.

Nationals | Capps to take physical in January
Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:59:42 -0800

Bill Ladson, of MLB.com, reports Washington Nationals RP Matt Capps will take his physical during the first week of January. Until then, the deal will not be official.

It will be interesting to see if he passes. Capps hasn't been the same since this...

Pirates | Capps to miss at least eight weeks
Wed, 02 Jul 2008 15:14:14 -0700

Rob Biertempfel, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, reports Pittsburgh Pirates CL Matt Capps (shoulder) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, July 2, and will miss at least eight weeks with a right shoulder injury. Capps returned to Pittsburgh Wednesday to have a magnetic resonance angiography which revealed bursitis and internal rotation deficit in his shoulder and it seems the muscles in his shoulder are not allowing him to fully extend when he throws. Capps will not require surgery but will spend four weeks in a rehab program and another four weeks in a return-to-pitch program. He is expected to return to the team in early September. Manager John Russell said RP Tyler Yates, P Romulo Sanchez, RP Damaso Marte and RP John Grabow would be in the mix to close games while Capps is out.

In dealing with his shoulder it looks like he screwed up his mechanics because in May he was out over a week with a bad elbow.

Pirates | Capps dealing with faulty mechanics
Tue, 19 May 2009 11:26:20 -0700

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann reports Pittsburgh Pirates CL Matt Capps has been over-rotating on the mound this year, according to pitching coach Joe Kerrigan. Capps' arm has been well behind his body and he is expending his energy way before his arm is fully extended and he is ready to release the ball. The problems with his mechanics may also be an explanation for his elbow bruising and discomfort.

Then, Mark Prior-like, he was hit in the elbow by a line drive(off Geo Soto's bat!) a few days after he returned to the mound.

Pirates | Capps exits after being hit by line drive
Mon, 25 May 2009 22:37:33 -0700

Jenifer Langosch, of MLB.com, reports Pittsburgh Pirates RP Matt Capps (elbow) left the game after being hit on the right elbow by a line drive. After acting in a reflex using his right arm to shield a liner hit by Chicago Cubs C Geovany Soto, Capps hunched over and eventually walked off under his own power after talking with Pirates manager John Russell and a team trainer. He was scheduled to be taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for X-rays. P Sean Burnett recorded the final two outs for his first MLB save.

Yanks have interest in Reed Johnson
http://twitter.com/nyp_joelsherman/status/700...

Crasnick says Duchscherer will sign with A's as does Olney
http://twitter.com/jcrasnick/status/7006943451

DeRosa leaning towards deal with Giants
http://twitter.com/Buster_ESPN/status/7006952655

http://vimeo.com/5119582

still awesome

now only if we could find the Farnsworth one

thanks and still fucking awesome...

Heh, Heh...Ozzie on the replay playing cheecan and jelling the heff ward...

If the Cubs really wanted Matt Capps at the exclusion of other free-agent RH relievers, they should have offered the Pirates a couple of minor leaguers (like the Cubs got from Arizona for Aaron Heilman) prior to the December 12th non-tender, so that the Pirates would have gotten something in return for losing Capps, and the Cubs wouldn't have to compete with other clubs to sign Capps.

That's why it's wsometimes better to give up a player or players to get a player who is going to be non-tendered instead of waiting until the player becomes a free-agent.

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