Chris Capuano, like fellow Los Angeles Dodgers starters Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly, has found himself on the outside looking in as far as getting a job in the starting rotation this season is concerned. After the Dodgers added Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu in the off-season, there simply isn’t a fit for Capuano, even if he is coming off a fine 2.1 fWAR season that saw the 34-year old put up a 3.72 ERA over 198.1 IP.
Those kinds of numbers might not be good enough to make the Dodgers’ starting five these days, but it would be more than good enough for the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies’ pitching deficiencies going into the upcoming season have been well-documented, and according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, they may be looking at one of their MLB peers to do something about it:
The Rockies’ offensive depth is easily the team’s greatest strength, but after a less-than-fruitful attempt to find reliable options for the starting rotation in the free agent market this past off-season, the team may not have much of a choice than to deal from excess.
There are other teams, like the Baltimore Orioles, who might have the young pitching that Colorado may covet, but the team is looking for a steady workhorse that will be relied on to hold what is otherwise a fragile and question-riddled starting rotation together.
For that, the Rockies would be better served looking westward at a player like Capuano, who has made 64 starts between the last two years, after a long journey back from a second Tommy John surgery.
Though the two teams are NL West rivals, the Rockies and Dodgers do have a pretty good fit on their rosters to pull of a trade. Los Angeles is thin at third base, and Colorado could give them a player like Chris Nelson or Jordan Pacheco as plan B to Luis Cruz.
Neither Nelson or Pacheco have a lock on the long-term role at third that belongs to Nolan Arenado, and either would be good enough to hold the fort before the Rockies decide to call him up.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, would be giving away a piece that they can’t really use anyway. There have been talks of moving Capuano to the bullpen, but given that there’s a large group of pitchers there too, it’s a less than ideal scenario. Plus, they still have Harang and Lilly to deal with.
It’s not a game-breaking trade for either team, but both have a need for what the other one has.
Win-win deals are not common in baseball, let alone between divisional rivals, but the Dodgers and Rockies may have what it takes to pull it off.