Agent Paul Kinzer said yesterday that the Mets and Twins are among the teams to express interest in Matt Capps, adding: “I think he’s going to be closing somewhere. I’ll put it that way.”
That’s hard to believe, in part because Capps pitched his way out of the closer job in Minnesota this year and in part because the free agent market is flush with veteran closers.
Jonathan Papelbon signed in Philadelphia and Ryan Madson, Francisco Rodriguez, Francisco Cordero, Joe Nathan, Heath Bell, and Frank Francisco are all looking for closer jobs. Perhaps some team will view Capps as a cheap fallback option, but even then former closers like Brad Lidge, Jonathan Broxton, Mike Gonzalez, and Octavio Dotel are also out there.
Capps was still reasonably effective this year, throwing 66 innings with a 4.25 ERA, but his strikeout rate plummeted to 4.7 per nine innings and he served up 10 homers. Tough to imagine there’s a team out there looking at him as more than a moderately priced setup man.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East
The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.
There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.
Here’s how each team breaks down:
New York Mets