Matt Capps Will Join The...

Giants27Analyst IDecember 21, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 06:  :  :  Matt Capps #55 and Ryan Doumit #41 of the Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate the win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Opening Day on April 6, 2009  at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Matt Capps was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates last weekend and has announced plans to select five or six finalists for each.

Odds are Capps wants to close but has said he'll accept a set-up role with a contender.

Capps has announced plans to select five or six finalists from the teams that are reportedly interested in his services which are: the Diamondbacks, Cubs, Orioles, Mets, Rangers, Yankees, Nationals, Rockies, Marlins, and Tigers.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are not considered an outstanding contender with the Dodgers and upstart Giants in their division, but what they do have is a closer role that could be open since Daniel Schlereth was traded.

However, Arizona also presents Capps with a closer battle with Chad Qualls.

Unless, Arizona becomes a contender by the end of the week, I doubt Capps will sacrifice his first-ever playoff race for a battle for the closing spot.

Baltimore falls in the same boat as Arizona after they signed free agent Mike Gonzalez, who would give Capps some competition on a non-contender.

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Both New York teams are also unlikely to be contenders, because even though they can offer up the most money, they also offer up the most attention.

Coming from Pittsburgh to New York where the lights always burn brightly could end up ruining his career instead of helping it with all the added pressure.

Colorado has two major negatives that may prevent a signing: 1) Manny Corpas and Huston Street give Capps some major competition; and 2) they have a hitter-friendly ballpark.

The Rockies could end up being a contender, but with the Dodgers expected to repeat as NL West champs and the Giants getting a year older (which is good in this case) make the division a challenge.

Coors Field, where ERA's soar, should make Capps reconsider signing with Colorado.

Florida offers up an interesting situation, but with Dan Uggla on the trading block and Jeremy Hermida already being shipped out, it indicates another Floridian fire sale.

The Marlins' current salary dump might make Capps hesitant to sign there, since he's likely to not get big money from them when his contract expires.

Washington is, to say the least, struggling. But they do have a good ballpark and a closer spot open.

But the odds he gets more than 20 save opportunities are slim to none.

Until the Nats get more hitters, they won't sign many closers with an eye towards the future.

We're down to the final three and in my opinion the best fits for Capps: the Rangers, Cubs, and Tigers.

Detroit is likely third on this list of possibilities, because, while they play in a winnable division, Capps could reasonably end up as a middle reliever.

Joel Zumaya is healthy, Daniel Schlereth certainly has the stuff to close, and Phil Coke has shown flashes off late-inning brilliance while in pinstripes.

Too many late-inning arms make the situation a little too dangerous if Capps wants to set-up or close games.

Down to the final two, and, out of those, I believe that the Chicago Cubs would be the best option for Matt Capps.

Texas could be a contender, but a hitter's ballpark and too many closing arms with Frank Francisco and Chris Ray also there make the odds he'll sign there slim, even though they're an obvious contender.

Chicago, on the other hand, needs relievers and at the moment only Carlos Marmol poses a threat to him for the closing role.

Plus, if he ends up losing the closing spot and is the set-up man, the Cubbies figure to be battling St. Louis for the Central division and could wind up as the wild card.

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