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Pirates Might Ditch Matt Capps

Neal Huntington says the Pirates might consider non-tendering Matt Capps:

"That's an awfully tough question to answer because I'm in a no-win situation by addressing it. Matt's shown the signs to be a major league closer, and we've seen it here and there. The blown saves aren't nearly as bad as the ERA and the hits per innings. But we don't see injury. We don't see a falloff in stuff. We see a guy we believe can have a bounce-back year if he does the right things this offseason."

Frankly, I've got better things to do than worry about whether the Pirates' reluctance to drop a few million bucks on Capps next year means they're being cheap, or whatever, because Capps has obviously been terrible this year. Still, I don't think non-tendering him should be a consideration. He'll be eligible for arbitration after next season, too, so by tendering Capps a contract, they'll be buying an entire extra year to see if he can get that old mojo back. A 26-year-old pitcher with "proven closer" status putting up the numbers Capps did in 2007 and 2008 would be very valuable on the trade market, in addition to helping the big-league club a great deal while he's still here. If 2010 proves to be 2009 all over again, well, so what? The 2010 payroll will be barrel-scrapingly low, and there will be little else to spend the money on. If Huntington really believes Capps can come back, then there shouldn't be much else to obsess over.