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UPDATE: Twins deal Ramos to Nats for Matt Capps

Jul 29, 2010, 10:28 PM EDT

The Twins and Nationals agreed to a three-player deal late Thursday night. Matt Capps is headed to Minnesota with Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa going the Nats' way...

UPDATE, 10:28 PM:  The Nationals’ official Twitter feed is now reporting that left-hander Joe Testa is also headed to Washington in the trade. 

The 24-year-old posted a 1.96 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 82 innings at Single-A last season.  He struggled a bit in his move to Double-A this year, but the lefty is still a valuable part and it’s quite odd that the Twins needed a throw-in to complete the deal.

UPDATE, 10:12 PM:  Scott Miller of says the deal is done, and that it’s a straight swap.

UPDATE, 10:04 PM:  Now Mark D. Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has confirmed from a “reliable scouting source” that Ramos is indeed headed to Washington.  Whether the Twins get more than Capps out of this deal remains to be seen.

UPDATE, 9:53 PM:  LaVelle E. Neal III at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune notes that catching prospect Wilson Ramos has been pulled from the lineup at Triple-A Rochester and may be involved in a pending trade.  The 22-year-old hit .296/.321/.407 in seven games for the Twins back in May.  He has a .625 OPS in 278 at-bats for Rochester this season, but is widely regarded as a top catching prospect.

9:21 PM:
  Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports — and now Jon Paul Morosi of confirms — that the Twins are “in discussions” for Nationals right-handed reliever Matt Capps.

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian was the first to write of the Twins’ interest in Capps in this report Tuesday, and now it appears that Minnesota management has stepped up its efforts. 

The 26-year-old Capps has posted a 2.74 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP this season while converting 26 of 30 save opportunities as Washington’s closer.  Twins ninth-inning man Jon Rauch has struggled a bit in the month of July, watching his ERA jump from 2.40 on June 30 to the 3.05 mark where it sits today.  Capps could either take over Rauch’s role or simply provide the Twins another reliable setup man as they prepare for a run at the American League Central crown.

The Nats should be plenty motivated to move Capps before Saturday’s trade deadline because he is earning $3.5 million this season and will get a hefty raise via salary arbitration heading into 2011, especially if he continues the solid numbers.  Drew Storen is ready to take over the ninth inning in the nation’s capital.

  1. nfieldr - Jul 29, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    Wish they had traded him BEFORE he got those two saves against the Braves.

  2. Maxa - Jul 29, 2010 at 10:35 PM

    Ugh, how does Bill Smith go from such a great offseason to this?

  3. mike wants wins - Jul 29, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    I registered just for this: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Terrible, awful, horrible, brutal trade.

  4. pete pfutzenreuter - Jul 29, 2010 at 11:34 PM

    How did that conversation go down?
    Bill Smith: Hey, we’re interested in Matt Capps
    Mike Rizzo: Who would we get? Joe Benson?
    BS: Well, we’d actually give you Ramos…
    MR: Wait what? Ramos? DONE!
    BS: Could you actually take Joe Testa off our hands too? That’d be great.
    what an effing joke!

  5. walk - Jul 30, 2010 at 12:07 AM

    I like this trade. If they can sign bryce harper im betting hes ticketed for first base if dunn is moved or right field if not.

  6. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:14 AM

    The Nats have already said they expect Harper to be a right fielder.

  7. Cheap Seat Chronicles - Jul 30, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    Wow, nothing about this move makes any sense.
    Capps is a good, but not great, closer in the National League.
    There’s a very real chance he’s going to get absolutely lit up in the AL. There’s no real indication as to whether he’s our new closer or a setup guy, and he’s going to get a hearty raise in arbitration next year when we should have Joe Nathan back and healthy–*knocks on wood*–for most of the season.
    I get that maybe he’s some sort of insurance policy on the off-chance that Nathan doesn’t bounce right back and the club lets Rauch walk at season’s end, but holy crap, what a steep price to pay.
    A month ago, Ramos was supposed to be the piece that got us a game-changer. Ramos was the head of package for Oswalt, Lee, Haren, and a plethora of hitters that people thought the club could use.
    Today Ramos isn’t enough for a second-tier closer in the NL, we also need to toss in a lefty hurler with decent upside? I just don’t get it.
    Capps has spent his career in Pittsburgh and Washington and we’re supposed to expect him to excel in a playoff race in the American League?! I’m a little skeptical and unless the Twins manage to win a World Series in which Matty Capps saves eleven games in the playoffs, I’m going to consider this trade a big ole notch in the “L” column for the Twinkies and the oft-maligned Bill Smith.

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