Cleveland has signed right-hander Matt Capps to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.
Due to a mix of injuries and blown saves Capps lost his closer job in Minnesota after the Twins overpaid to acquire and then keep him, but if healthy he’s a perfectly decent setup man with a 3.52 career ERA through age 28.
Capps was always miscast as a closer because he’s basically a one-pitch pitcher and doesn’t miss many bats, but he throws strikes and has plenty of late-inning experience. As a highly paid closer he was all sorts of overrated, but as a middle reliever on a minor-league deal he’s a nice pickup.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.