I was at a restaurant when I saw on a nearby TV that Matt Capps was on his way to the Minnesota Twins. My first reaction was that of extreme joy as I felt that Capps wasn't going to be traded at the deadline. Soon after I settled down, I looked at the screen closer and saw who was involved in the deal. Two names scrolled across the screen with only one that I knew.
The player that I knew, and most every Twin fan knew, was highly-touted catching prospect Wilson Ramos. Ramos was now heading off to the Washington Nationals where, conceivably, he will be behind the plate catching Stephen Strasburg fastballs for the next decade.
As I scoured the Internet looking for any and all reaction on the trade, I was surprised to find out that a vast majority of the reaction was negative on the Twins part. What was even more surprising that most of the negative attention was coming from Minnesota blogs and articles.
I decided to wait a few days before writing a reaction on the trade. So many times it becomes too easy to quickly make a decision on something before further examining all the possibilities.
Well, it's been four days and one Matt Capps save since the deal was made and I am strongly in favor of it. Here's why.
1. Jon Rauch was a serviceable closer and did a nice job, but he doesn't have overpowering stuff, which is generally needed by a closer. Now he can slide into a seventh and eighth inning role to go along with Jesse Crain and Matt Guerrier keeping the bullpen fresh down the stretch.
2. Ramos very well may be the product of an organization hyping up a player who's only true value to the team was as a trade chip. Think about it this way. Joe Mauer is going to be the team's catcher for the next four to six years regardless of all the talk of him switching positions. Let's be honest—Ramos had no future in Minnesota, leading me to my next point.
3. The time is now for the Twins. There is no new ballpark opening next year, it opened this year. The organization can no longer bank on tomorrow because tomorrow has arrived in Minnesota. General Manager Bill Smith did his job in the offseason by adding key acquisitions in Jim Thome, JJ Hardy, and Orlando Hudson. He did his job again at the trade deadline by improving the team.
Ramos may turn into an All-Star catcher three or four years down the road, but nobody will remember that if Capps plays a key role in bringing a World Series to Minnesota. After all, sometimes you have to worry about next year when it comes and take a chance on this year, this team.