Minnesota has finally decided to say goodbye to Matt Capps, declining his $6 million option for 2013 and paying the 29-year-old right-hander a $250,000 buyout.
That ends one of the more head-scratching love affairs in recent memory, as the Twins gave up Wilson Ramos to get Capps from the Nationals in mid-2010 and then paid him about $13 million for what turned out to be a total of 122 innings with a 3.61 ERA and 5.4 strikeouts per nine frames.
Capps is a perfectly solid setup man when healthy, but he’s an example of the folly behind labeling someone a “proven closer” based on save totals and he’ll likely have to settle for a modest one-year deal while coming back from shoulder problems.
Former Phillies right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez died in a traffic accident in Havana on Thursday, per reports from the El Nuevo Herald and CiberCuba. No other deaths or injuries have been reported in connection to the accident. Gonzalez was 34 years old.
The Cuban righty defected from his home country in 2013 and signed a three-year, $12 million contract with the Phillies. A bout of right shoulder tendinitis compromised his bid for a major league role, but he finally broke through to the big leagues at the tail end of the 2014 season and turned in a 6.75 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in just six outings. Another case of shoulder inflammation derailed any progress he might have made in 2015, however, and he recorded just five innings in Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the team officially released him prior to the 2016 season.
The Phillies released a statement following news of Gonzalez’s death: