With the offseason officially in full swing after the Red Sox downed the Cardinals to win the World Series on Wednesday, the Dodgers made some news today by declining the options on Chris Capuano and Mark Ellis.
Both will be bought out for $1 million each. Capuano could have made $8 million next season, and Ellis $5.75 million, so this obviously saves some cash for bigger needs.
Then again, both could also resign at much more realistic rates. The early returns are that Ellis is the more likely of the two to be brought back. The Dodgers view Alexander Guerrero as their long-term answer at second base, or at least they hope. But then again, he could also play shortstop, which would slide Hanley Ramirez over to third, opening up second for Ellis again.
I do think the Dodgers will make an effort to bring Ellis back, especially because he's still very good on defense. He was a finalist for a Gold Glove, but lost out to Brandon Phillips, which there's certainly no shame in doing. Offensively, Ellis hit .270 with 6 homers and 48 RBIs, so it's not like there's much production there. That will probably cost him a starting nod. But, off the bench, I can see him contributing.
As for Capuano, I wouldn't expect to see him back next season. Give the guy a bunch of credit for battling back from two Tommy John surgeries. I can only imagine the uncertainty he must have felt going through that rehab twice.
But, as the years and innings continue to pile up, I just don't see him getting any better. He went 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this year, which is nothing special. I think the Dodgers will look elsewhere.