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Matt Capps staying in Minnesota

By Adam Kilgore

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."

By Adam Kilgore  | November 16, 2010; 8:15 PM ET
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Next: Bryce Harper likely to start 2011 in Class A Hagerstown


Matt Capps earned the loyalty of his teammates and his club. The Twins don't usually let good players go. One of the smartest organizations in Baseball.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 16, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Capps puts the Twins in a good position - If Nathan is able to come back, Capps becomes the pricey set-up man (replacing Rauch). However, if Nathan is a no-go, or stumbles, then Capps is there as the closer. An immediate win-win situation for the Twins.

Now, if Ramos & Storen both come through to add value to the Nationals, that will have been a good trade for both the Nationals & the Twins, as they both get positive results.

Posted by: BinM | November 16, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I loved Capps thought he had what it takes to be a closer (here's my best stuff let's see if you can hit it) no bullsh#ting around on the mound all business when he comes into the game.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 16, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

NATS made a good trade. Minnesota made a good move in keeping Capps.

Off topic but a ray of sunshine into the gloom (temporary I hope) that is Hot Stove, Espinosa hit for the cycle in the Puerto Rico Winter League yesteday. He plays for Ponce.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | November 17, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The Twins looking to keep end of the game bull pen depth should be someting Rizzo takes notice of. The Nats would do well to add JJ Putz or some other Closer out there (here are some options) a one year deal. Storen may not be ready and it cannot hurt to strengthen the club's end game pitching.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 17, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo says they are willing to do this or that move to improve the club -- FA's, take on salary in trade, move players, and that they have mapped out strategies and all of that -- but they seem to have trouble getting that kind of thing actually done.

Posted by: dfh21 | November 17, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

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