Matt Capps, Bobby Crosby, Rule 5, John Russell
A few tidbits from Dejan Kovacevic at the PPG:
-In John Russell’s press conference, he mentions that Matt Capps is the closer. Hopefully this means Capps will be retained going in to next season. I realize fans are down on him right now (which is expected for a closer coming off such a horrible year), but Capps is only a year removed from a 3.02 ERA in 53.2 innings as the closer in 2008, which followed a 2.28 ERA in 79 innings in 2007. Looking at his career, 2009 looks like the exception, rather than the rule, and I feel he will gain value if given the chance to close.
-Russell also talks about the “no triples” outfield alignment (I don’t think anyone likes that, except Russell and Gary Varsho), and what the future looks like with Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, and Pedro Alvarez on the way next year.
-Bobby Crosby won’t be signed today, and probably won’t be signed until after the Rule 5 draft. The Pirates have the space to make two picks in the draft, although they’d have to DFA someone when Crosby’s deal becomes official.
-Neal Huntington said that a Rule 5 pick is “likely”, which is an upgrade over the answers we’ve seen recently on the subject. Something to note: the Yankees acquired the first pick in the Rule 5 draft from the Washington Nationals, and are reportedly shopping the pick (which means Washington would draft a player, trade the player to the Yankees, and the Yankees would trade the player to any team interested). My guess is that Huntington isn’t coming out any saying anything because he doesn’t want a team getting worried and trading with the Yankees to potentially take a guy he likes. I’ve done some extensive review on the Rule 5 draft, and I’ll give my favorite picks later tonight.
-In the Rule 5 link above, Huntington also mentions that a trade during the meetings is unlikely, and talks about the extent of the trade talks he’s had so far.