Dodgers decline options on Mark Ellis, Chris Capuano

Harry How

Mark Ellis and Chris Capuano will not be returning to LA next season. They'll have to work out a contract for 2014 as free agents.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have declined the 2014 contract options of second baseman Mark Ellis and left-hander Chris Capuano, the team has announced.

Ellis stood to make $5.75 million next season had the Dodgers picked him up, but instead will take a check for $1 million and try his luck in free agency. Capuano had an $8 million mutual option for 2014, but will also receive a $1 million buyout.

The 36-year-old Ellis was his usual stellar defensive self in 106 starts at second base this season -- and put up a serviceable .270/.323/.351 at the plate -- but was likely without a job in 2014 had Los Angeles elected to keep him around. The Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million deal two weeks ago, and all signs seem to point to him taking over at the keystone next season.

Capuano, 35, was a big part of the Dodgers' rotation in his first season with the club, but became somewhat of an afterthought in 2013 due to the additions of Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The veteran southpaw still got 20 starts on the year thanks to Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley's season-ending injuries, but was ultimately bumped to the bullpen when nagging injuries cropped up in September. Overall, he posted a 3.91 ERA in 304 innings during his two seasons with Los Angeles.

Both players are likely to get a new big-league deal this winter, it's just not likely to come from the Dodgers.

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