Friday, February 1, 2013

Matt Capps, Cleveland Indian (probably)

Matt Capps: 3.68
with 14 saves — and
three months on the
disabled list — in
2012 with the Twins.
Matt Capps finally knows where he'll report when spring training camps open — the much-criticized former closer for the Twins signed a minor league deal with invitation to major-league camp with the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.

So much for the recent blogger speculation that Capps might return to the Twins yet again.

That Capps had to settle for a minor-league deal suggests that his one-game return in late September didn't do much to assure potential employers that he's sound. He made only 29 appearances in 2012 for the Twins.

Presumably he has an out clause in this contract — if he doesn't make the major league roster by Day X, he can opt for his release. He's only 29, and he does have a career ERA of 3.52 and 138 saves. He's not great, but he shouldn't be on the fringe of a roster either.

Assuming, of course, that he's sound.

Cleveland has a closer — Chris Perez, who is a rather Capps-like closer himself (75 saves the past two seasons with a combined 3.45 ERA). There's been speculation that the Tribe would trade Perez this winter, but that hasn't happened.

I would think that Capps would have taken a major-league deal from anybody over a minor-league deal, but that none was available. To the extent that he was picking from comparable minor-league offerings, he may have chosen Cleveland on the theory that the glory job might become available.

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