12/22 Grabow tries to sell Capps on Cubs
If Matt Capps does sign with the Cubs, credit pitcher John Grabow with an assist.
Grabow, who was Capps’ teammate in Pittsburgh before he was traded to the Cubs in July, has talked to the free agent right-hander, who has apparently narrowed his choices to Washington and Chicago. The two pitchers have the same agent, Paul Kinzer.
MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reported that Capps, who was not tendered arbitration by the Pirates, planned on making a decision by Wednesday. Grabow signed a two-year contract on Nov. 20 with the Cubs and gave Capps a little inside information.
“I basically told him about the organization and how the guys are in the clubhouse,” Grabow said Tuesday from his Arizona home. “If he comes to the Cubs, he’s coming to a contender.”
The Cubs starting pitchers do go deep in games, which, Grabow said, could mean a lot of meaningful innings for Capps. The difference could come down to what Capps wants to do. The Nationals are looking for a closer, while the Cubs already have named Carlos Marmol as their closer. Marmol took over in mid August for Kevin Gregg, and went 11-for-11 in save situations. Marmol also walked a lot of batters.
Grabow said Capps is exactly what a manager wants — he’s durable and throws strikes.
“I told him, if you come to the Cubs, you might not close right away but things happen,” Grabow said. “[Capps] is a great guy. He’ll take the ball every single day. He’s a bulldog. He’s the sort of guy you want in your bullpen.”
Grabow wasn’t too concerned about Capps’ 5.80 ERA this season with the Pirates.
“I think he’s going to bounce back this year,” the lefty said.
— Carrie Muskat