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Capuano, Brewers avoid arbitration

Capuano, Brewers avoid arbitration

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MILWAUKEE -- Left-hander Chris Capuano and the Brewers agreed to terms on a one-year deal, reportedly worth $3.75 million late on Thursday, avoiding arbitration.

With Capuano in the fold, the Brewers face potential arbitration hearings with only two other players: shortstop J.J. Hardy and right-hander Dave Bush. Unless they come to terms before the end of Friday, players and teams must swap proposed salary figures.

Capuano made $3.25 million during a disappointing 2007 season, which came after he won 18 games in 2005 and made the National League All-Star team in 2006. He won his first five decisions, but then lost the final 12, eventually losing his spot in the Brewers' starting rotation. The Brewers lost the final 22 games in which he pitched (0-12, 6.08 ERA during that span), though Capuano pitched well in a handful of those outings. He underwent surgery after the season to repair a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, an injury that had existed for some time.

He can earn an additional $25,000 each for making 26, 28 and 30 starts this season, according to the Associated Press.

Capuano faces an uphill battle this spring because the Brewers are relatively stocked with pitching. Four rotation spots are spoken for barring injury, leaving Bush, Capuano, Manny Parra and Claudio Vargas vying for the other one. Six bullpen spots are all but locked up, and Capuano could be among the arms competing for the one remaining opening, should he not make the rotation.

In parts of five big league seasons, including the last five with the Brewers, Capuano is 42-48 with a 4.39 ERA. After his 2007 slide, he finished the year 5-12 with a 5.10 ERA in 29 games, 25 of them starts, and failed to surpass 200 innings pitched for the first time in three years.

He will turn 30 in August.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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