Red Sox close to signing Chris Capuano

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Free agent left-hander Chris Capuano is on the verge of signing with the Red Sox, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Cafardo reports that a deal could be completed as soon as today.

Boston’s need for rotation help increased following Ryan Dempster’s decision to sit out the season and Capuano represents a cheap option who presumably won’t require a multi-year commitment.

Capuano was limited to 20 starts last season by a groin injury and the Dodgers’ rotation depth, but he posted a 3.91 ERA and 52/10 K/BB ratio in 13 starts after June 1 and was a solid mid-rotation starter in 2012 with a 3.72 ERA in 198 innings. At age 35 he’s a risk to decline, but Capuano has always missed a solid number of bats, is impossible to run on, and shouldn’t be a dropoff from what Dempster gave the Red Sox last year.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.