Results tagged ‘ Matt Capps ’

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

12/22 Matt Capps

According to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson, free agent Matt Capps has narrowed his list of teams to the Nationals and the Cubs, and will make a decision by Wednesday night. Capps was not offered arbitration by the Pirates after saving 27 games. If he signs with the Nationals, Capps will be their closer. If he signs with the Cubs, he’d be a set-up pitcher for Carlos Marmol. He’d also give the Cubs some insurance in case Marmol has problems with walks.

– Carrie Muskat

12/18 Milton Bradley & Matt Capps

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in about two months, and Milton Bradley is still with the Cubs. FOX Sports reports the Rays, Rangers and Mariners are still interested in Bradley but no deal is close. The Cubs and Rays have been talking about swapping Bradley for Pat Burrell, but Tampa Bay wants GM Jim Hendry to agree to pick up a large part of the second year of Bradley’s contract. The Rangers are a longshot. Bradley’s time in Texas didn’t end on good terms. The M’s could be hesitant to take on a controversial player like Bradley. They recently added Chone Figgins and Cliff Lee.

The sticking point, as we’ve reported before, is the $21 million Bradley is owed over the next two years. The Cubs don’t want to pay any of that, and they don’t want to release the volatile outfielder.

Matt Capps could have a new team by Christmas. The free agent closer apparently plans on picking five or six teams as finalists by the weekend, then making a decision as to where he wants to pitch. Capps, who was not tendered arbitration by the Pirates, has been approached by several teams, including the Cubs. He’d like to close, but Capps’ agent Paul Kinzer told FOX Sports that he’d accept a set-up role with a contender. Besides the Cubs, the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Rangers, Rockes, Marlins, Nationals, Mets, Tigers and Yankees are interested in the right-hander.

Capps, 26, had 27 saves this season with the Pirates, appearing in 57 games. He walked 17 and struck out 46 over 54 1/3 innings.

– Carrie Muskat

12/16 Cubs keep eye on Escobar

The Cubs sent a scout to watch Kelvim Escobar throw in Venezuela. The right-hander had surgery in 2008 to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder. He won 18 games in 2007 but has been limited to one game over the last two in the big leagues because of shoulder problems. Other teams watching Escobar throw included the Rays, Brewers, Giants, Pirates, Tigers, Mariners and A’s.

The Cubs are looking for some experience in the bullpen, and also were talking to the agent for Matt Capps, the Pirates closer who was not tendered a contract on Saturday.

– Carrie Muskat 

12/13 Cubs consider Capps

The Pirates’ decision to not tender closer Matt Capps could benefit the Cubs. Capps is now a free agent and his rep, Paul Kinzer, told the Chicago Tribune that the right-hander is interested in the Cubs. Chicago does have Carlos Marmol as its closer but Capps could be the experienced right-handed set-up pitcher the Cubs are looking for. He made $2.4 million last season and the Pirates did not tender him because they felt Capps would receive a significant pay increase in arbitration.

– Carrie Muskat

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