Nats land prized prospect Wilson Ramos
Buy low, sell high. That’s exactly what the Nationals did Thursday night when they traded closer Matt Capps and cash considerations to the Minnesota Twins for catcher Wilson Ramos and left-handed pitcher Joe Testa. The Twins struck out in their pursuit for a starter like Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt so they turned their attention to the back end of the bullpen. Capps will be the Twins closer. The Twins solved a short term problem while the Nats could have a catcher for the future.
The void left by Capps will likely be filled by a closer by committee with Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen who collectively have two careers saves. They say if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one. The same could be said for closers but it might not be long before the Nats settle in on a specific closer.
Ramos is a defensively sound, power-bat backstop and was the Twins best trade chip due to some guy named Joe Mauer. Ramos is regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects and entered 2010 rated as the Twins’ best power hitter, best defensive catcher and No. 2 prospect according to industry-insider Baseball America.
The soon-to-be 23-year-old (Aug. 10) Ramos has struggled this season batting .241 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games with Triple-A Rochester. Last season, Ramos’ first at the Double-A level, he paced all Twins full-season farmhands in batting average (.317), threw out 42 percent of would-be basestealers and was subsequently named the Eastern League’s No. 8 prospect.
Ramos–who stands 6-foot-0, 220 lbs.–made his Big League debut with Minnesota in May and batted .296 (8-for-26) with three doubles and one RBI in seven games. He went 4-for-5 in his Major League debut and followed it up going 3-for-4 the next night.
The Nationals optioned Ramos to Triple-A Syracuse and assigned Testa to Single-A Potomac.
Capps joins a Twins team in the midst of a playoff race–1.5 games behind the White Sox–and enters a division that has required a one game playoff to determine the division champion the past two seasons. He has been lights-out since Strasburg made his debut–probably coincidence more than anything else. Since June 8, Capps is 3-0 and is 8-for-8 in save opportunities with a 1.45 ERA (3 ER/18.2 IP), 13 punch outs and only two walks in 19 games.
In his 10 outings before Strasburg’s debut, Capps blew four saves and went 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA (9 ER/ 8.0 IP) and a .467 BAA.