Results tagged ‘ trade deadline ’
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.
The Nationals front office was extremely busy Friday afternoon, trying to get deals done that would benefit the club. Here’s how it went:
WASHINGTON NATIONALS ACQUIRE PAIR OF RIGHT-HANDED PITCHING PROSPECTS FROM ROCKIES
The Washington Nationals today acquired right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus and right-handed pitcher Robinson Fabian from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for left-handed pitcher Joe Beimel and cash considerations.
Mattheus was 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 appearances for Colorado’s top three affiliates this season before having “Tommy John” ligament-replacement surgery performed in early July. In 26.0 innings prior the surgery, Mattheus struck out 27–or 9.3 per 9.0 innings pitched–en route to recording a .250 (24-for-96) batting average against.
In five-plus minor league seasons in the Rockies’ high-altitude system, Mattheus is 29-40 with 17 saves and a 5.17 ERA en route to a nearly 2.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2003, he was drafted by Colorado in the 19th round out of Sacramento City College as a draft-and-follow. Thus, he did not sign with the Rockies and begin his professional career until May 30, 2004.
Mattheus, currently 25 years-old, shifted to the bullpen for the first time in 2008 and his efforts were rewarded, as he represented the Rockies in both the 2008 Futures Game and the Double-A Texas League All-Star Game. He earned both citations by not only posting a 3.28 ERA in the Texas League, but also by leading Tulsa with 17 saves, striking out 8.7 batters per 9.0 innings and recording a heavy 2.4/1 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.
Fabian was 3-6 with a 6.24 ERA in 24 games (12 starts) with Asheville of the Single-A South Atlantic League at the time of the trade. In 83.2 innings, he fanned 54 and walked just 21, good for a 2.6/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
In 2007, Fabian ranked among the Northwest League leaders in starts (first, 15), innings (fourth, 77.1) and a ERA (ninth, 3.96) while pitching for Single-A Tri-City. He has been assigned by the Nationals to Hagerstown of the Single-A South Atlantic League.
The 23 year-old is 20-30 with a 5.08 ERA in 101 games (67 starts) in seven professional seasons. Fabian–a native of La Victoria, Dominican Republic–was originally signed by Colorado as a non-drafted free agent, July 10, 2003.
Beimel, 32, went 1-5 with 10 holds, one save and a 3.40 ERA in 45 appearances with Washington after signing as a free agent on March 18.
WASHINGTON NATIONALS ACQUIRE LEFT-HANDED PITCHING PROSPECT FROM MARLINS
The Washington Nationals today acquired left-handed pitcher Aaron Thompson from the Florida Marlins in exchange for first baseman Nick Johnson.
A former first-round pick (22nd overall, 2005 First-Year Player Draft), Thompson went 5-9 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts this season with Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League. He posted a .268 batting average against and 1.74/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 75 strikeouts and 43 walks in 114.0 innings. Entering this season, he was recognized as having the “Best Changeup” in the Marlins system by Baseball America.
In 95 career games (94 starts), Thompson has posted a 22-34 mark with a 4.00 ERA and 2.26/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (393 K/174 BB) in 506.0 innings.
The 22-year-old was rated Florida’s No. 8 prospect by Baseball America entering the ’08 season. In 2006, he was a South Atlantic League All-Star en route to posting a 3.63 ERA in 24 starts with Single-A Greensboro.
Johnson, 30, batted .295 with six home runs, 44 RBI and a .408 on-base percentage in 98 games this season with Washington.
Update: Elijah Dukes and Jorge Sosa will fill the two roster spots vacated by Friday’s trades of first baseman Nick Johnson and left-handed pitcher Joe Beimel to Florida and Colorado, respectively.
Dukes, a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, rejoins the club after hitting .279 (19-for-68) with eight doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and a .388 on-base percentage in 20 games with Syracuse. The 25-year-old batted .244 (47-for-193) with 13 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 30 RBI and two stolen bases in 57 games with Washington prior to being optioned on July 1.
Sosa join the Nationals for the first time. He appeared in 20 games (four starts) with Syracuse, going 1-2 with three saves and a 2.79 ERA.