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Capps uncertain of where he'll start 2013 season

Veteran reliever has option of heading to Triple-A Columbus if with Indians

Capps uncertain of where he'll start 2013 season

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Matt Capps is not sure what his next step is right now. He knows he is still in Indians camp and he will not be on Cleveland's Opening Day roster. Beyond that, the veteran right-hander is not sure what lies ahead.

"I'm as lost as you guys," Capps said on Wednesday morning. "I've never been in this situation. I'm not really sure what to think or where to go or what to do. So, I'm just kind of here right now."

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Capps is still technically a member of Cleveland's big league camp as a non-roster invitee, and the ballclub has let him know it has interest in keeping him in the Minor Leagues. The former closer was informed he was not in the Tribe's Opening Day plans on Monday.

Before accepting or declining the opportunity to stay in Cleveland's system with Triple-A Columbus, Capps will search for another opportunity to pitch in the Majors. His agent has been working the phones for the past couple of days.

"I think that's what you have to do," Capps said. "If a team calls and says they want me in the big leagues, obviously I'm going to go. If that doesn't happen, I'll do what I have to do, whether that's in Triple-A or wherever to get back."

Capps, 29, was limited to 29 1/3 innings last season with the Twins due to a right shoulder issue. He still managed a 3.68 ERA and 14 saves in 30 appearances for Minnesota. Capps' best season was in 2010, when he fashioned a 2.47 ERA and finished with 42 saves in 74 games between tours with Washington and Minnesota.

In four Cactus League appearances this spring, the right-hander has allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and one strikeout for Cleveland.

Capps said he has felt fine health-wise and his velocity has improved throughout the spring -- similar to previous seasons. He indicated that he was clocked around 90-91 mph in an outing on Sunday after sitting around 86-87 mph earlier this spring.

"I feel good. I feel really good," said Capps, who has 138 saves in parts of eight seasons in the Majors between stints with the Pirates, Nationals and Twins. "I feel like I'm close. Obviously, it's disappointing, but I feel like I can help this ballclub. I feel like I could help any ballclub right now.

"It's not the news and not the situation you want to be in, but we'll deal with it."

If Capps decides to stay with Cleveland by accepting a Minor League assignment, he would be eligible for a $100,000 retention bonus. He would also be eligible for an opt-out clause that would allow him to become a free agent on June 1 if he is not in the big leagues by that date.

"We'll cross that bridge when we get there," Capps said when asked if he would be willing to go to the Minors. "In an ideal world, I change their mind and I'm in Cleveland in two weeks. We'll see."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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