Teams in need of starting pitching figure to pay close attention to the Dodgers this week.
Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Rangers, Pirates, Mariners and Indians were in attendance to watch Chris Capuano throw in a minor league game this afternoon. Chances are they came away impressed with what they saw, as the southpaw allowed only three hits and struck out 11 over seven scoreless innings.
Chad Billingsley hasn’t had any problems with his elbow this spring while Zack Greinke appears on track to start the season, so the Dodgers have quite a surplus of starters at the moment. Capuano, Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly are candidates to be moved in the coming days. Harang is scheduled to start in a minor league game tomorrow, so some of the same teams listed above could be watching.
Capuano, 34, posted a 3.72 ERA and 162/54 K/BB ratio over 198 1/3 innings in 33 starts with the Dodgers last season. He’s owed $6 million this season while his contract includes a mutual option for 2014 for $8 million or a $1 million buyout.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.