• In light of reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates came up $500,000 dollars short in their offer to free agent closer Matt Capps, (who was non-tendered by Pittsburgh two weeks back), a Pirates fan in a Q&A with Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Dejan Kovocevic entitled, "Pirates Q&A: Good business with Capps?", is recommending that his fellow Bucs- backers boycott the team to show the current ownership what they think of their recent decisions. Mr. Kovocevic confirms the fact that the Pirates let a half-a-million dollars come between themselves and Capps, and also reveals that the 26-year-old right-hander chose Washington over a third team as well:
"The figure that you raise regarding the money sounds about right: The Pirates probably wound up about $500,000 below what Washington paid -- and the Mets apparently offered, too -- so that would be the gap to cite for future reference."
In a Christmas Eve article elaborating on Capps signing with DC entitled, "Pirates target Gregg, Dotel as Capps picks Nats", the Post-Gazette's Mr. Kovocevic confirmed that the Chicago Cubs were the fourth team with interest in the free agent reliever, adding yet another team to the list of possible homes Capps rejected in order to accept the Nationals' 1-year/$3.5 million dollar deal, which could go as high as $3.925 million if he meets performance-based bonuses. Is it hard for you to believe that Capps chose Washington over Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York, or is it just that the Nationals' offered more than the Pirates and a closer's role that wasn't available from either of his other two options...?
• Capps explained his decision join the Washington Nationals to MLB.com writer Bill Ladson for an article entitled, "Capps, Nats agree to one-year deal", wherein the first-time free agent explained:
"'[I liked the Nationals because of] the way Mr. Rizzo treated me throughout this whole process,' said Capps. 'The Nationals organization has been first class.
"'They expressed their interest from Day One -- the moment I was non-tendered. They wanted me to become a Washington National. That means a lot. The feeling of being wanted is very important. I felt that from them from Day 1.'"
• The Bucs, apparently are still lamenting another pitcher who left Pittsburgh for Washington, but this one they traded away themselves. In an article by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette author Dejan Kovacevic on Sunday entitled, "Hotstove: Pirates shake off lame-duck terms", the Pirates beat writer writes:
"The Pirates still might fare well in the Lastings Milledge/Joel Hanrahan trade, but it bears mentioning that, in addition to giving up Nyjer Morgan , they sent away one of the National League's best left-handed relievers as per a few 2009 metrics: Sean Burnett ranked among the top three in opponents' batting average (.181, including .176 vs. right-handed batters), walks and hits per innings pitched (1.11), inherited runners scored (15.7 percent) and first-batter efficiency (.159)."
• No word yet on whether or not the will introduce Capps to Nationals' fans this week or wait until after the New Year to hold another press conference, their third of the offseason, which has already seen Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and pitcher Jason Marquis decide to join DC.