Matt Capps staying in Minnesota
Not that there was a huge chance of this, anyway, but all-star closer Matt Capps will not be coming back to the Nationals. Twins General Manager Bill Smith said it is "not at all" a decision as to whether the Twins will tender him a contract and bring him back for the 2011 season, meaning they will.
"He's a legitimate closer," Smith said. "He was a great addition to our ballclub."
The Nationals traded Capps to the Twins in late July for heralded catching prospect Wilson Ramos. The Nationals also threw in $500,000 of Capps' remaining salary and received minor league left-handed reliever Joe Testa.
Capps, entering his final year of arbitration, will be due a large raise from his 2010 salary, which was $3.5 million. The pay increase, plus the expected return of Twins closer Joe Nathan, raised the possibility that the Twins may allow Capps to walked and, potentially, return to the Nationals.
Smith, though, squashed that notion. He also Capps could pitch either the eighth or ninth inning this season, depending on Nathan's health and Manager Ron Gardenhire's discretion.
"He's said he'll pitch anywhere, anytime, whenever the manager or the pitching coach tell him to pitch," Smith said. "He was a great fit to our club. He's certainly an established closer. I'll let the manager decide when he pitches."
| November 16, 2010; 8:15 PM ET
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