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Closing with Capps?

The next destination for former Pittsburgh closer Matt Capps may be the Chicago Cubs or the Washington Nationals.

The Capps' camp was hoping to have a contract in hand before the Christmas holidays begin. The former Pirate has been contacted by 14 teams, with at least eight or nine showing real interest to sign him. Capps is being pursued aggressively by the Nationals and the Cubs. A source close to the situation said the Nationals have offered a two-year deal with the promise of the closer's role to the 26-year-old right hander. The Cubs will also have serious interest in Capps' services, cannot offer that role due to the fact that Carlos Marmol will go into the 2010 season as the team's closer.

Capps was successful in 27 of the 32 save opportunities he had for Pittsburgh in 2009. On Dec. 12, Pittsburgh released Capps, making him a free agent, due to the fact they had not offered him a 2010 contract. Baseball people were shocked that the Pirates didn't try to trade Capps earlier in the fall before the contract deadline approached. Capps told me and my "Talkin' Baseball" co-host Jonathan Hood on Dec. 19 that he and his wife both love Chicago and hoped that a decision would be made quickly as to where he'd be playing next season.

According to MLB sources, Capps will receive somewhere between $7 and 8 million as part of a two-year contact. The Cubs have strong Interest in Capps, who would go into the role of the primary setup man from the right side in the bullpen. Capps would also give manager Lou Piniella a solid backup closer to finish games off when Marmol wasn't available.

With the addition of Capps, the back end of the Cubs bullpen would be among the strongest in the National League. With Marmol as the closer, Grabow as the left-handed setup man and Capps the right-handed setup man. The nationals have been among the most aggressive teams in their approach to Capps and his agent, Paul Kinser. A final decision could happen within the next few days.