It may not come as a surprise to anyone, but on Wednesday the Twins declined to pick up Matt Capps’ $6 million option for the 2013 season. Instead, the Twins will be paying the $250,000 buyout. Capps now becomes an unrestricted free agent, after spending half of last season on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Minnesota acquired Capps in a trade with the Washington Nationals in 2010. The Twins sent prized catching prospect Wilson Ramos and minor league left-hander Joe Testa to the Nationals in return for the hard throwing pitcher. Capps went 2-0 with 16 saves to end that 2010 season, which was the last time the Twins won the division title. Ramos batted .265 this year with 3 HR in 25 games. While the release of Capps was inevitable, the move is just another of many moves that GM Terry Ryan seems to be cleaning up in the post-Bill Smith era.
In addition to declining Capps’ option, the Twins released pitchers Jeff Manship, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez, Kyle Waldrop, P.J. Walters, Carlos Guitierrez, and outfielder Matt Carson for assignment. Gutierrez, who struggled with shoulder problems all of last season while he was with the AAA Red Wings, was already claimed by the Chicago Cubs and added to their 40-man roster. The Twins also reinstated pitchers Carl Pavano (shoulder), Scott Baker (elbow) and Cole De Vries (ribs) from the disabled list, bringing their 40-man roster to 35 players, although Pavano and Baker become unrestricted free agents when the World Series ends. The Twins have until the beginning of December to finish filling out their roster.
In interviews with media, Capps spoke highly of his time in Minnesota. When asked if he’d like to find another spot to close, Capps said, “I’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.I haven’t exactly turned the page yet. I’ve not allowed myself to sit and think about what could and what might happen. I’ve enjoyed these past few days with my wife and son; baseball hasn’t been on my mind the past couple of weeks.”
It’ll be interesting to see where he lands, and how the Twins fill out their pen.