The Washington Nationals made their first major move of the season shipping All-Star closer Matt Capps to the Minnesota Twins for prospects Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa. MLB Trade Rumors reports:
“As soon as Joe Nathan announced that he would undergo Tommy John surgery, the back end of the Twins’ bullpen became a lot less scary. Four months later, the Twins obtained one of the top relievers available, acquiring Matt Capps and $500K from the Nationals for left-hander Joe Testa and highly touted catching prospect Wilson Ramos.
Capps, 26, has 25 saves and a 2.80 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. He earns a base salary of $3.5MM this year ($1.3MM remains) and can be retained as an arbitration-eligible player for 2011. Capps will close games for the Twins and Jon Rauch will move to a set-up role.
Ramos, 23 in August, placed 58th among all MLB prospects on Baseball America’s preseason list. The catcher has hit .241/.280/.345 at Triple A with five homers this season. His offense has fallen off since last year, but Ramos has thrown out 19 of 38 would-be base stealers. Joe Mauer’s presence in Minnesota made Ramos expendable for the Twins.“
In The End, Both Teams Won:
In my opinion, Capps was by far the most likely National to be moved before the deadline, not Adam Dunn. Washington paid $3.5 million for Capps this winter in the hopes they could capitalize in a buy low, sell high situation. It worked beautifully as the right-handed closer improved from having a 5.80 ERA with 27 saves in 2009 to boasting a 2.80 ERA with 24 saves already this season. With his great numbers, and the presence of future closer Drew Storen in the wings, Capps was a no-brainer to send away if they got the right offer.
For the Twins this deal made perfect sense as well. They had a demand with the injury of Joe Nathan, and Washington had the supply. Washington wanted legitimate prospects in return, and the Twins had the number 58 prospect in baseball at a position which their franchise player filled.
Each team received huge pieces for what were spare parts to their franchises.
Capps also indicated that he genuinely would like to play for Nats GM Mike Rizzo and Manager Jim Riggleman again, so if Minnesota does not want to offer the closer arbitration this offseason (He is due for a huge raise) then there is a chance that Clip-n-Save will be restored in our nations capitol.