The Red Sox have agreed to a deal with left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano, according to Ron Chimelis of The Springfield Republican. The deal will pay Capuano a base salary of $2.25 million and offers incentives that could raise that total to $5 million, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
For Capuano, the deal will be a homecoming of sorts. The 35-year-old is a native of West Springfield, MA. He pitched 105 innings with the Dodgers last season, posting a 4.26 ERA in 20 starts and four relief appearances for Los Angeles. After battling with arm trouble and missing all of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, the lefty has revived his career over the last three seasons by remaining relatively healthy. A hamstring injury cost him some time with the Dodgers last year, but he pitched 198 ⅓ innings for them in 2012 and reached 189 innings in 2011 as a member of the Mets. He has a career 4.27 ERA which is just slightly below league average by ERA+.
For the Red Sox, Capuano effectively replaces Ryan Dempster who has decided not to pitch in 2014 for personal reasons. Dempster was slated to work as the swingman for Boston, providing them with a long relief option and the occasional spot start while also giving them some starting pitching depth behind Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront. Capuano should now slide into that role and as a southpaw, he also gives Boston an additional lefty for the bullpen to go along with relievers Craig Breslow, Andrew Miller and Drake Britton. Capuano doesn't have a tremendous amount of experience working as a reliever, with just 47 ⅓ inning out of the bullpen in his career, but his results in limited action in that role last season were very good. He faced 19 batters in 4 1/3 innings of relief work for the Dodgers and allowed no runs and just four hits and one walk while striking out seven.