Acquired from the Rockies yesterday for cash considerations, left-hander Chris Capuano will join the Yankees’ rotation and make his debut Saturday versus the Blue Jays.
Capuano spent most of this season working as a reliever for the Red Sox, but then joined the Rockies as a starter at Triple-A.
As a fly-ball pitcher Capuano isn’t a great fit for Yankee Stadium and at age 35 he may simply be nearing the end of the line, but from 2011-2013 he was a solid mid-rotation starter and he fits the Yankees’ recent moves of adding some marginal improvements without giving up any significant long-term pieces.
His arrival pushes rookie Chase Whitley into a bullpen role after posting a 4.76 ERA in 12 starts.
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.