MLB Trading Places: Matt Capps Goes To Minnesota Twins
Capps has certainly turned things around for himself over the past 10 months, going from being non-tendered by the Pittsburgh Pirates over the off-season, to signing a $3.5 million contract with the Nationals, making his first career All Star appearance, and finally being traded from a team in last place to a team competing in a divisional race.
Statistically, Capps has turned it around from last year, converting 26 of 30 save opportunities with a 4.22 K/B ratio, but was the deal worth it for the Twins? Ex-National Jon Rauch has posted similar numbers this season, converting 21 of 25 save opportunities with a 3.00 K/BB ratio. While Rauch has struggled with control at times this season, it's important to note that he hasn't had this many save opportunities since he played for the Nationals and Diamondbacks back in 2008 (24).
While the Nationals have Ivan Rodriguez inked to a two-year deal, Ramos shouldn't be too far away from taking over the starting gig for the Nationals. Pudge may be great at calling games, but he simply isn't getting the job done while hitting this season. The 20-season veteran is hitting just .079 (3 for 38) with a .077 OBP since the All Star break. The move for Ramos also gives the Nationals more time to develop prospect Derek Norris (high Single-A) in the minor leagues, and the ability to have their highly anticipated draft pick, Bryce Harper , concentrate on playing the outfield.
The Twins also sent the Nationals left-handed pitcher Joe Testa, who over three minor league seasons has posted a 10-7 record with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Testa features a low-ninties fastball with a slider and curveball. Testa has appeared in 36 games this season, posting a 2-5 record with a 5.50 ERA. He started the season at the Double-A level and was lit-up over 21 appearances to the tune of a 8.25 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP and was sent back to Single-A where he has a 8.7 K/9 ratio and a 3.6 BB/9 ratio.
In closing, the Nationals killed two birds with one stone during this trade. They were able to trade an above-average relief pitcher that is having a nice bounce-back season, who is also arbitration eligible after 2010, for a prospect at a position where they were lacking depth. While Ramos certainly didn't have a place to play in Minnesota, the return on him could have been greater.
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