Dodgers decline 2014 options on Ellis, Capuano

Dodgers decline 2014 options on Mark Ellis, Chris Capuano.

Second baseman Mark Ellis and left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano became free agents Thursday as the Dodgers declined to exercise their options for next season.

The steady-fielding Ellis became expendable when the Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero to a four-year, $28-million contract. Guerrero is expected to replace Ellis at second base.

Ellis, 36, was a Gold Glove finalist. He batted .264 with 13 home runs and 79 runs batted in in his two seasons with the Dodgers.

Both Ellis and Capuano will be paid a $1 million buyout.

Capuano’s option for next season was worth $8 million.

Capuano pitched well in 2012, but was marginalized this year by injuries and the Dodgers’ surplus of arms.

Capuano pitched in 24 games this year, including 20 starts. He was 4-7 with a 4.26 earned-run average. The 35-year-old didn’t make the Dodgers’ roster for the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Dodgers have five starting pitchers under control for next season: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett. Billingsley and Beckett are recovering from major operations, but the Dodgers are expected to attempt to re-sign Ricky Nolasco and pursue Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.

-Dylan Hernandez

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