It was nice to hear Monday that southpaw Chris Capuano is likely to agree to an incentive-laden minor league contract to stay in the Milwaukee system.
The Massachusetts native missed the entire 2008 campaign after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in May for a second time and was non-tendered Dec. 12 because he would have made about $3 million without any assurances that he can come back and perform, and the small-market Brewers can't afford such a luxury.
So, he continues with his rehabilitation at team facilities in Arizona, where he'll welcome former friends when players start reporting Feb. 13 for spring training.
Although there's no way of knowing whether Capuano can come back, no one works harder or is more cognizant of what his body can and can't do than this lefty and it's a certainty that he will do everything in his power to return to his old form.
That would be a great story and wonderful news for the Brewers, who lack quality and depth at the Triple-A level and plenty of questions as they search for prospective bodies to compete and/or fill out their big-league rotation.
Capuano always has been a true professional and one of the Brewers' good guys. He's a smart and articulate person and player—he was his high school class valedictorian and got an economics degree from Duke University—and provides good interviews, something members of the media thoroughly appreciate.
The left-hander made his major league debut with Arizona in May 2003 and came to Milwaukee in the nine-player Richie Sexson trade Dec. 1 of that year. He compiled 6-8 (4.99 ERA), 18-12 (3.99), 11-12 (4.03) and 5-12 (5.10) records in his four years with the Brewers, starting 5-0 in his last full season before establishing a team record with the 12 consecutive setbacks.
The non-tender move temporarily made the 2006 National League All-Star a free agent and cleared a spot on the 40-man roster, which was at 37 players Monday, including 19 pitchers.