According to sources, the Milwaukee Brewers have put-off negotiations with starting pitcher Chris Capuano, giving the New York Mets (and other pitching-starved teams) the opportunity to pursue his potentially affordable services. Up until this week, it was a lock that Capuano would re-sign with the Brewers since the two have stuck together through thick and thin (or just Capuano’s arm injuries). However, when the Brewers traded for Shaun Marcum and most recently, Zack Greinke, it left Capuano without sure spot in the rotation.
The Brewers originally acquired Capuano–as well as Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge de la Rosa, and Junior Spivey–in the blockbuster trade that sent then super-star Richie Sexson to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The young pitcher showed tremendous promise in his first two full seasons, from 2005 to 2006, posting a combined 29 Wins, 4.01 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 7.2 K/9 IP, and 2.8 BB/9 IP. In 2007, despite sprinting out of the gate with a 5-0 record, Capuano failed to win another game the rest of the season. On the surface, it appeared as though the league had caught up to his finesse style, but
his need for a second career Tommy John surgery before 2008 spoke more to his fade.
Capuano endured great difficulty recovering from his injury, and would not throw a pitch in the majors until mid-2010–almost 2.5 years after his surgery. Desperate to salvage his once very promising career as a starter, Capuano lent his services to the bullpen, where he posted a respectable 3.54 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 8.9 K/9 IP, and 3.33 BB/9 IP. The Brewers decided to insert Capuano into their rotation late-season, and it paid off. Cap showed flashes of his old self with a 4.14 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 6.7 K/9 IP, and 2.27 BB/9 IP in 9 starts.
With Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Yovanni Gallardo, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson filling out the Brewers rotation, the Brew Crew cannot promise Capuano the starting spot he deserves and wants. Since the Mets are already considering injury-rebound candidates like Chris R. Young, Jeff Francis, and Freddy Garcia, it wouldn’t be surprising if Chris Capuano too became a serious target.