The 2013 MLB season is finally complete and free agency is now underway. Today, the Dodgers declined the 2014 options on second baseman Mark Ellis and left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano. Both players are now free agents, but could re-sign with the team if they choose to do so. Ellis had a $5.75 million team option with a $1 million buyout, while Capuano had a $8 million mutual option and a $1 million buyout as well.
Ellis was a finalist for the 2013 NL Gold Glove, but the award was given to Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds. During the season he hit .270 with 6 home runs and 48 RBI. The 36-year-old was very good defensively all year long and provided some veteran leadership in the clubhouse. The Dodgers signed Cuban second baseman Alexander Guerrero and he seems to be the future at second base for the Dodgers, but Ellis could be a great mentor for the young Guerrero if he’d accept a reserve role.
Meanwhile, Capuano spent two seasons with the Dodgers and had an overall 16-19 record with a 3.91 ERA. This past season he went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA and could never assert himself in the rotation. Capuano was left off the NLCS roster, although he did earn an impressive win in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers now have a total of 10 free agents and it will be interesting to see which they choose to bring back. Money hasn’t been issue for the Dodgers, but it’s important they bring in quality free agents that fit well with the current ball club.
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