The Dodgers on Thursday declined the 2014 options of both Mark Ellis and Chris Capuano, making them free agents. The moves trim the Dodgers' 40-man roster down to 33 players heading into the offseason.
Ellis had a $5.75 million club option for 2014, but the Dodgers instead will pay him a $1 million buyout. He hit .270/.323/.351 with six home runs in 126 games, and was a finalist for a National League Gold Glove Award at second base.
He started 106 games at second base in 2013 after starting 100 games at the position in 2012. Ellis, who will turn 37 next June, has averaged 109 starts at second base per season for the last six years and has made one disabled list stint for six straight seasons, averaging 31 games on the DL during that time.
The Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero on Oct. 22 to a four-year, $28 million contract, and his likely position in MLB is second base. General manager Ned Colletti said on Oct. 21 that the Guerrero signing did not necessarily mean Ellis would be gone.
"I think Ellis still has value to this organization, with or without Guerrero," Colletti said at the time.
Capuano had a mutual option worth $8 million for 2014, but the Dodgers declined it and will instead pay the left-hander a $1 million buyout.
Capuano, 35, was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 24 games, including 20 starts in the second season of a two-year contract. He had a bizarre up-and-down season in 2013, with eight starts allowing zero or one run and seven starts allowing five or more runs.
He spent two stints on the disabled list this season with a lat strain and a calf strain, and missed most of September with a strained groin. But Capuano fought back from injury and made the NLDS roster as a reliever and pitched three scoreless innings of relief to win Game 3 against the Braves.