The Atlanta Braves have added some bullpen depth, signing right-handed reliever Matt Capps to a minor league deal, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The 31-year-old former All-Star last pitched in the major leagues in 2012.
Capps, a native of Georgia, was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2002 draft by the Pirates. In eight seasons with the Pirates, Nationals, and Twins, he has been a fairly competent relief option (120 career ERA+), even making the All-Star team in 2010, during a season in which he posted a 165 ERA+ and saved 42 games. He has also spent a significant amount of time in a closing capacity, saving at least 14 games in each of his last six big league seasons.
Capps posted a 3.68 ERA (112 ERA+) and 4.50 K/BB with 14 saves in 29.1 innings with the Twins in 2012, however, he has not pitched in the majors since then, struggling with shoulder issues. He has spent the past two years working on minor league deals in the Cleveland Indians' system, combining to make just ten appearances in the minors during that span, spending a significant amount of time on the disabled list.
Capps could potentially join a Braves bullpen crop that is chock-full of new additions. This offseason, the club signed Jason Grilli, Michael Kohn, Josh Outman, and Jim Johnson to free agent deals, traded for Arodys Vizcaino, and selected the Tommy John-recovering Dan Winkler in the Rule 5 draft. The Braves will seem to head into the 2015 season with Craig Kimbrel serving as the closer, while Grilli and Johnson appear primed to be the primary set-up men. If Capps can prove to be healthy this spring, he may also find himself in that mix.
As a whole, the Braves have undergone a drastic roster makeover this winter, with 13 of the players on Atlanta's projected 25-man squad acquired since the end of October.