Free agent closer Matt Capps took another step in deciding which team he'd like to pitch for in 2010, once again trimming what started as a twelve-team list of suitors shortly after the Pittsburgh Pirates non-tendered the 26-year-old right-hander last Saturday, and according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson's article entitled, "Nationals a finalist to acquire Capps", the Washington Nationals are on the shortened short list, and can be considered, "...a finalist to acquire the services of free-agent right-hander Matt Capps."
Echoing the sentiments expressed by free agent pitcher Jason Marquis, who told MLB.com's Bill Ladson in another article entitled, "Marquis interested in Nationals", that he liked, "Some of the moves the Nationals have made -- like [signing Stephen Strasburg] signing Pudge [Ivan Rodriguez] and getting [Brian Bruney]..." Capps told Mr. Ladson tonight, that in addition to the fact that Washington has an up-for-grabs closer's role heading into Spring Training, he's considering DC because he likes what he sees:
"I already like the moves they already made in trying to be competitive next year and beyond. Ivan Rodriguez is a Hall of Fame catcher. To have the opportunity to throw to him and learn from him, I definitely think that is a big deal."
Asked if a Hall of Fame-bound catcher might attract free agent pitchers and whether or not it figured in his decision to sign the veteran backstop during the press conference introducing new Nationals' catcher Pudge Rodriguez to the Washington press, DC GM Mike Rizzo responded half-jokingly, "If you think that didn't go into my thought process when we were talking to Ivan Rodriguez, you don't know me very well." We'll save the Cpt. John "Hannibal" Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together" talk for when one of these free agent pitchers actually signs...(ed. note - "Especially after FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal listed the Yankees, Mets and Cubs as other teams that are interested in Capps..."), but so far it looks like it's not just front office types who like what Mike Rizzo is doing in the nation's capital.