Chris Capuano pitches for the Dodgers in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
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.
Ellis will be paid a $1 million buyout.
Capuano will also 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.