Despite the insanity of it all, Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry continues his hot pursuit of another reliever to squeeze into the team’s very crowded bullpen. He seems intent on spending money where it need not be spent.

But I just report the decisions; I don’t make them.

The Cubs are looking at Matt Capps, who was non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday.

Capps, who has closed for the Pirates the last three years, already had calls from three teams as of Sunday morning. His agent, Paul Kinzer, said Capps is interested in the Cubs, and apparently the team has reciprocated that interest.

The 26-year-old right-hander is coming off a poor season, with a 5.80 earned-run average, after recording a 2.28 ERA in ’07 and 3.02 ERA in ’08. His career ERA is 3.61, and he’s issued only 50 walks in 271 2/3 career innings.  Chicago Breaking Sports.

Capps will probably be significantly better this year than last, but there is of course no guarantee. Very few relievers have career-long success; instead finding it here and there, and rarely for more than two or three years in a row. Capps is expected to command upwards of $3 million per year and perhaps a multi-year deal.

The Cubs may also be interested in free agent reliever Kiko Calero, 34, who was quietly all universe for the Marlins last year, with an ERA under 2 and 69 Ks in 60 innings. He will get paid.

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  • N

    If you have to sign a free agent reliever, these two sound OK and there’s a reasonable chance of signing them for a one year deal (which every reliever but the top 1% should be on.) In a vacuum, either of these guys would seem to be fine bets for the Cubs, given Guzman and Marmol are no sure bets to get thru a full year intact.

    But it’s bizarre to even be comprehending spending more money on stuff that matters relatively little (middle relief!) when they’re short in money to get rid of Milton. The $2.5 mil between Capps and whatever minor leaguer they trade him could be better spent.

    I hope the next GM understands the concept of replacement level.

    • Ace

      I agree with everything you said. Completely and totally spot on.

      Except for where you said “thru” instead of “through.” :)