Chris Capuano was willing to move to the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen in 2013 if it meant he could be part of “something special”. But, unfortunately for the 34-year old veteran, his willingness to accommodate the team’s glut of starting pitching might not be enough.
That is, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, who has been told by sources that the Dodgers have been calling teams to gauge interest in the left-hander.
The Colorado Rockies have been going after starting pitching for some time, and they would obviously be a fit for Capuano, but Renck says that there’s nothing currently brewing between the two NL West rivals.
There are, of course, other teams who are still in need of an arm. The Milwaukee Brewers could be interested in setting up a homecoming for Capuano, who was a member of the Brew Crew for five years. Over in the AL, the New York Yankees are hurting badly these days, and is lacking in depth in both offense and pitching, and a veteran lefty would be a nice back-end piece to the rotation there.
After the news on Chris Carpenter and the minor setback to Shelby Miller, it’s possible that the St. Louis Cardinals could get in the mix too, even if their preference is to continue to use internal options.
The fact that Capuano’s $6 million salary (along with a mutual option in 2014 that has a $1 million buyout) isn’t a back-breaking commitment makes him an attractive trade chip for the Dodgers, who will likely want an infielder in return to provide a backup plan for the Luis Cruz experiment at third base.
However, teams may be hesitant to give up significant assets to acquire the Dodgers’ odd man out, especially considering that Capuano posted a 4.22/1.30 ERA/WHIP away from Dodger Stadium in 2012, where he had an excellent 16 starts with a 3.19/1.14 ERA/WHIP.
While Capuano appears to be the center of attention at the moment, it’ll be interesting to see if the Dodgers will also shop Aaron Harang, who has said that he has no interest in being a reliever, over Spring Training.
You’d think that the Dodgers would rather have a player who is willing to change roles to be part of the team, as opposed to a similarly-paid player who isn’t, but Capuano’s 3.7 fWAR over the last two seasons (compared to Harang’s 2.2) and his valued left-handedness may actually be going against his wishes to stay in Los Angeles.