Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Paul Kinzer (Matt Capps' Agent)--Side Session

After today's introductory press conference with Matt Capps, his agent, Paul Kinzer, answered questions for about five minutes in the home clubhouse of Our Washington Nationals. Mr. Kinzer mentioned that 16 teams had contacted him about Matt's services for 2010 and beyond--upon Capps being non-tendered by The Pittsburgh Pirates.

We pick up the side session conversation at that point:

“He was offered three deals that would have set him up for two years. And out of the three two-year deals, he preferred the one-year with Washington.

Because he wanted to close, basically?

“He wanted to stay as a closer. But Mike (Rizzo) did a great job. Brian Minniti (Assistant GM) called within five minutes of him becoming a free agent. So, them being that aggressive and they didn’t let up—it was every day. I got to know them too well. (laughter) But every day it was three to five phone calls per day and they were persistent. They sold him on the team. He knew guys. They were calling him. They did a nice job recruiting him. Coming out, everyone thought it was a slam dunk for The Cubs. And he loved The Cubs, we thought that was where he would end up. But these guys did a great job. They had the closer role (open). The Cubs and some of the other teams he would have been in the set-up role. They would have paid him more money and guaranteed two years—but he would have been in the set-up role.”

Between three to five phone calls per day—what were they (The Nationals) saying?

“Checking in. (laughter) Between Mike and Brian Minniti they were aggressive and wanted him and that helped win him over. That always tells you something when you have a free agent. Teams that call right away those are the teams that are usually in it until the end. Then, you get a few teams that just wait, kind of lurking, see how it goes and they are right there at the end. I thought a couple of the big teams might have (done just that), but we got this over with pretty quick. He decided where he wanted to go and we didn’t want to string it out. We wanted to have something done by the holidays.”

Are The Nationals getting to the point now after signing a couple of guys that it is becoming a place for Free Agents?

“Yeah. Matt and I discussed it. We just think this (The Nationals Organization) is a sleeping giant. As soon as they become competitive, this is a major market. Some of the teams, even if they are competitive, there isn’t that much more there they are going to get in attendance. We just feel like this is a major market. The location and being in the east where he is still around his family—that was important to him. We are very happy and we were very happy to get it over with.”

What was your history in dealing with Rizzo before?

“I’ve known him and when Jim (Bowden) was here we were pretty friendly with Jim. I’ve known him (Jim) from Cincinnati as well. But I had met him (Rizzo) in meetings with Jim and in negotiations. Mike was involved with Wily Mo Pena, when I had him here."

That final answer concluded the side session with Paul Kinzer--Matt Capps' Agent.

Photo Credit--AP

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