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The Matt Capps-Wilson Ramos trade from all angles

Most any trade will create some kind of ripple effect, and the one the Nationals pulled off late Thursday night certainly qualified. They traded Matt Capps, their closer of the present, for Wilson Ramos, their catcher of the future. Here's how it will affect those involved:

The Nationals' bullpen: Without question, the Nationals will miss Capps at the back end, but it will also gives others the ninth-inning spotlight. A team source said the Nationals will use a committee of relievers to close and pick the "hot hand" as the year goes along. The primary candidates will be Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard, Joel Peralta and, most interestingly, Drew Storen. The Nationals didn't use the 10th overall pick on a pitcher they hoped would be an eighth-inning guy. The future may as well be now.

Wilson Ramos: Ivan Rodriguez is signed for one more season. Wil Nieves, as great of a clubhouse asset as he is, has not exactly made himself indispensable as the backup catcher. In Minnesota, he was blocked by Joe Mauer. Now one of baseball's best catching prospects has a pretty clear path to the majors. Ramos, a native of Venezuela who will turn 23 on August 10, is hitting .241 with a .280 on-base percentage and a .345 slugging percentage. Ramos has the potential to be a power bat. Baseball America rated him the 58th best prospect in baseball before the season. One major league scout raved about his defense earlier this season. In a cup of coffee this May, Ramos went 8 for 27, including a four-hit game in his debut.

Matt Capps: He said it over and over, and he said it again last night: Capps cherished his time with the Nationals. He'll miss his teammates. But he also gets to parachute into a pennant race in a new park and a baseball-crazed city. If he continues the outstanding job he did in Washington, he's going to make himself a lot of money. He remained a complete class act until the end.

Atahualpa Severino: The left-hander with the tongue-twisting name will likely be called up from Class AAA Syracuse to take Capps's spot on the roster. One scout, while watching Severino pitch this spring, said: "He's going to pitch in the major leagues. He can't throw a ball straight." He meant it as a compliment - Severino gets good movement on all his pitches.

Derek Norris: The Nationals' top-rated position player prospect also plays catcher. At least for now. No one questions Norris's potential as a hitter, but his defense is said to be well behind his offense. There are no indications yet that the Nationals are going to switch Norris, but having Ramos in the fold makes it much easier to move Norris to first base. That's especially worth remembering if the Nationals move Adam Dunn in the next 36 hours or so.

Jesus Flores: What does it say about his recovery that the Nats used one of their three big trade chips to acquire a catcher? On Wednesday, Nationals trainer Lee Kuntz said Flores had suffered another setback and restarted a throwing program. Flores is hitting off a tee and throwing from 90 feet. That's the same thing he was doing in spring training. A sad saga continues.

Future Nationals?: The trade removes about $500,000 from the Nationals' payroll - Capps was owed about $1 million more this year, and the Nats gave up $500,000. That's not exactly a windfall, but then there's the roughly $7.5 million the Nationals know they won't be paying Capps next season. Reports have connected the Nationals to Diamondbacks pitcher Edwin Jackson, and the Nationals can more easily absorb his salary - $4.2 million this year, $8.35 million next year - if they are able to land him. (Worth noting: Jackson is a Scott Boras client.)

Mike Rizzo: He turned a non-tendered, demoted closer into one of the best catching prospects in baseball, perhaps the best defensive catching prospect in the game. Capps helped solidify the Nationals all season long, and his value in a trade will never be higher. Prospects are no sure thing, but Rizzo has got to be feeling very, very good about this deal at the moment.

By Adam Kilgore  |  July 30, 2010; 12:47 AM ET
Categories:  Matt Capps , trade deadline  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: What do you think of the Matt Capps trade?
Next: Bryce Harper sending the Nationals a message?

Comments

Nice work Kilgore, very informative.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | July 30, 2010 1:20 AM | Report abuse

In January, Ramos was rated by Baseball America as the Twins #2 prospect, their best power-bat in the farm system, and their best defensive catcher in the system. He is having a pretty horrific year at the dish this season, but maybe he can regain the form that made him such a highly touted prospect. Maybe not. But either way, Capps was a luxury and it was a no-brainer to move him, especially for Ramos.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | July 30, 2010 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Welcome Ramos.
Well done, Rizzo.
Capps, good luck in the pennant race. Have a great time.

Go Nats!

Posted by: usmc53 | July 30, 2010 1:38 AM | Report abuse

This confirms for me how lucky we are to have Rizzo as GM--and that the worst decision in Nats history was to keep Jim Bowden in the fall of 2006 rather than let him go at the same time Frank was let go as manager. Those who run down Stan Kasten should remember that if it had been up to Stan, Rizzo would have been GM in '06--that Jim stayed until Smiley Gonzalez blew up is entirely on Mark Lerner.

Posted by: sjberke | July 30, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

This confirms for me how lucky we are to have Rizzo as GM--and that the worst decision in Nats history was to keep Jim Bowden in the fall of 2006 rather than let him go at the same time Frank was let go as manager. Those who run down Stan Kasten should remember that if it had been up to Stan, Rizzo would have been GM in '06--that Jim stayed until Smiley Gonzalez blew up is entirely on Mark Lerner.

Posted by: sjberke | July 30, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Nice move. Sell high!

Posted by: Natstoyou | July 30, 2010 6:35 AM | Report abuse

I noticed that AK didn't include Will Nieves in his analysis of the impact. So, does Ramos report directly to the majors and they demote Nieves?

Posted by: DavidandDonald | July 30, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

Great deal, and props to Tim Kurkjian for actually being right on the Nats for once (unlike the imminent signing of Orlando Hudson).

Have to do it. Props to Capps, he was a quality guy in every way. We'll miss him though.

http://forums.realgm.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=124&t=1037651

Posted by: CJArlington | July 30, 2010 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Well, Ramos isn't on the 40-man roster, and Severino is probably coming up, so unless they move somebody else one way or another, he'll go to Syracuse, or maybe Harrisburg just to keep him closer if they do want him up.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | July 30, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Mike Rizzo is the best.

Posted by: rachel216 | July 30, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

A.) Great trade by Rizzo. I'll miss Capps and I reiterate what Adam and many posters above me have already said: he was a great guy to have on the team. He worked hard and got to the All Star Game and is going to make a lot of cash in Minnesota and compete for the pennant.

B.) I didn't know about the trade until this morning and in reading this post, I'm well informed in 5-10 minutes. Excellent post, Kilgore. Keep up the good work.

Posted by: kungpow9960 | July 30, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I am excited by this trade. In spite of his being a great guy, and his expecting his first child any day now, if I remember, it is time to cut Wil Nieves loose. I suppose that some would say that Ramos needs to catch every day, and therefore should be in the minors. I suggest it would be better to give him a lot of time with the Nats, and Pudge a lot more rest.

That had been the plan with Jesus Flores in the first place. From the perspective of July, 2010, Capps just made a great trade. I hope that both Capps and Ramos succeed- it would be good for both teams, and make other GMs all the more willing to trade with Rizzo in the future.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | July 30, 2010 7:37 AM | Report abuse

One person you forgot to mention that will be affected is Bryce Harper. Does this mean that he will definitely be an outfielder and not a catcher? I always assumed that, but is he fine with that?

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 30, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

With a body projection like Harper's, there was no way that kid was going to be a catcher at any point in his pro career, anyway. They announced him as an outfielder, and outfield he will play.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | July 30, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Key phrase: 'Nats are sellers at the deadline'. Much more pain to follow. Rizzo's been in charge almost two years, and he's only made two trades. Ramos is hitting .241 in AAA, he's doesn't project, i.e., he's not on an upward trend. Part-time catcher, something they need only because they're so desperate behind the plate. Derek Norris at 1B? Now there's something to get peole through the turnstiles. A fat, short, injured catcher who's hitting .231 AT HIGH SINGLE A AFTER FOUR YEARS. He won't see the field in the majors for years, unless the Nats stink, then you'll see him in training camp next year. The Nats are sellers. Who would've thought that lol cheap bastids

Posted by: Brue | July 30, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

Mark Z at Nats Insider on how the Nats plan to use Ramos:

"He'll report to Syracuse for now, but the hunch here is that Ramos comes to D.C. as a September call-up. Next season, he splits the job with Pudge, eventually taking over as the starter."

Posted by: SpashCity | July 30, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

So I just read SS to the 15-day DL retroactive to July 21. Votes for Sunday's starter? I vote for Chico if it fits his schedule.

Posted by: paulkp | July 30, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

@paulkp

Lannan to replace Strasburg in rotation.

http://therocket.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/07/lannan_to_replace_strasburg_in.html

Posted by: SpashCity | July 30, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Why Severino instead of Wilkie to replace Capps in the pen. Severino has an ERA of over 6 for the past month, Wilkie under 2.

Posted by: Juliasdad | July 30, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm excited about this trade for different reasons.

I had the chance to see Ramos play a few times this year, and I like what I saw.

Now, here in Minneapolis, we get a back end of Rauch and Capps, two guys I really respect and like to watch. With Capps under contract next year, it's a little less scary heading into the season with just Joe Nathan (coming off Tommy John) in the closer role (Rauch will be an FA at the end of the season).

Finally, this is a good chance to get a good guy into a penant race. If the last two years are any indication, the last few weeks of the season could be fun. The Twins don't like to end a season with just 162 games.

Posted by: JohninMpls | July 30, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure Ramos is a nice guy and a reasonable prospect to fill one of the obvious holes in our roster (hitting catcher), but it still seems strange that for a minor league catcher and a really minor league reliever we trade away an all-star who could have been our closer for the next decade. It particularly galls that a major factor in the trade was the need to pay him serious money next year. He would have wanted 7.5 mil so he had to go. Dunn aparently wants $20 mil for 4 yrs so he has to go. When do will we be good enough to deserve good players who have to be paid what they're worth?

Posted by: Infieldgallery | July 30, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Ramos had to know is way to the majors was blocked by Mauer. This trade has to ignite his confidence in getting to the show much quicker. Rizzo at work, way to go!

Posted by: cokedispatch | July 30, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@Juliasdad:
Severino is already on the 40-man roster, Wilkie isn't.

Posted by: BinM | July 30, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to Matt Capps for great work this season. Enjoy the pennant race with the Twins and pitch well to make a ton of money!

Standing ovation to Mike Rizzo for another fine deal.

Welcome to Wilson Ramos. We hope to see you soon!

Derek Norris, here is your first baseman's glove.

Bryce Harper, your fastest route to the majors is RF.

Posted by: Handsome_John_Pruitt | July 30, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

This is an outstanding trade. For those who are down on Ramos' hitting, he's been batting over .350 in July.

Posted by: hersheyman | July 30, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Also, Ramos will probably go on the 40-man roster to take the spot vacated by Capps. He would have had to have been on the Twins 40-man roster to play in the majors earlier this season while Mauer was out. And he would need to be on the 40-man roster in order for the Nats to call him up in September, which they most surely will - if they don't bring him up sooner.

Posted by: FeelWood | July 30, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

Will someone spell it out for me in plain English? Capps is only 26 years of age. Is the feeling among the baseball "experts" that he is having his "career year" and the rest of his career will see him perform more like he did with the Pirates than he has with the Nats? If so, then somebody come out and say it. If not, then someone explain why you would want to get rid of a 26-year-old all-star closer for ANY prospect, even if it means you'll have to give him a huge raise next year.

Posted by: fluffy4 | July 30, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Excellent trade assuming Ramos really has the goods to be a starting catcher in a couple of years....I would have hoped the Nats could have gotten a little more for Capps but Rizzo made a good move.

I think the move is a strong indicator that Rizzo intends to trade Dunn for additional top prospects to fill the other major holes on the roster (2nd base, RF, and starting pitching). It also indicates that the Nats plan is further behind than indicated. The Nats are now looking more like a team that will lose close to a 100 games minus Dunn and don't expect a lot of improvement next year. Replacing Dunn from within is highly unlikely so it may be a couple of years before we add a true slugger back to the lineup.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 30, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I seen a guy at the nats game with a Capps All-Star jersy on, I wonder how he feels?

Moving Norris to first would be a sound move, and could get him here by next year.
Plus he could be use as a third catcher.

Potomac hitting coach Matt Nokes on Norris:

“Looking at Derek Norris, and working with him every day, he’s a young hitter that… there isn’t anything in his swing that you’d want to say, “Well, I think you should do this or that”. He’s polished. He’s literally a polished, mechanically sound hitter. His head is in the zone; his head is in the action. For this kid, it’s going to be a matter of… and he has an eye that’s way too good for this league. His eye is too good for this league and basically it’s going to help him as he gets older and gets to the higher levels where the umpires are calling the games with a little bit tighter zones. For him, it comes down to pitch selection, and I don’t mean strikes and balls, I mean hitting fastballs and not always just hitting the hanging pitches. Once he starts to get some momentum, he’s just going to tear it up.”

Posted by: hansenjo | July 30, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I will miss Capps, but who knows maybe we can see him again in 2 years.

This kid sounds like a real deal at catcher, so can't complain.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 30, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

BTW,

According to the Nats official 40 man roster Ramos is listed on it.

Even better is there is no news on the Caps trade, but you go to the depth chart Capps is listed as the closer wearing a twins cap. HAhAHAHA

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/team/depth_chart/?c_id=was

Posted by: hansenjo | July 30, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Great trade. The Nats desperately needed a top-shelf catching prospect and Ramos has been as highly ranked as the Twins #2 prospect and #58 in all of baseball. Capps did a solid job for Washington this year but relievers are the most replaceable commodity in baseball and The Save is one of the most worthless statistics in the game. He pitched well but advanced statistics suggest that he was a bit lucky and given that opposing batters were starting to knock him around lately (18 hits over the last 7 innings), I'd say Rizzo did an excellent job of getting value for his closer.

Posted by: jhcarson | July 30, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

From CNNSI

Deadline news, July 30: White Sox near trade for Jackson

The conventional wisdom has been that the White Sox would flip Jackson for Adam Dunn to the Nationals, who have long sought Jackson. But it appears the White Sox may keep Jackson. They have been interested in Dunn, as well.

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/baseball/mlb/07/30/deadline.news/index.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0vAjFurCH

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/baseball/mlb/07/30/deadline.news/index.html?eref=sihp#ixzz0vAj9KatH

Posted by: hansenjo | July 30, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

@fluffy4

I'll say it. I like Matt Capps and thank him for his service to the club, but did you really feel very confident that he could come in a tight game with a 1-run lead and know that he will shut the other team down? A lot of those saves he compiled were "new-school" saves, i.e., the closer comes on at the beginning of the 9th with a lead of 2 or 3 runs and holds on. I'm not sure of the number, but I can't recall very many 1-2-3 9th inning saves, and ultimately, I think that's what you want to see from your closer a fair amount of the time. The league was batting .274 against him and his WHIp was 1.30 (good, but not excellent).

Again, I'm happy he was here and wish him the best, but I do think a lot of people think he had a career year this year and he is being traded at his maximum value. I hope he proves those of us who think like that wrong.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | July 30, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Infieldgallery said "It particularly galls that a major factor in the trade was the need to pay him serious money next year. He would have wanted 7.5 mil so he had to go. Dunn aparently wants $20 mil for 4 yrs so he has to go. When do will we be good enough to deserve good players who have to be paid what they're worth?"

Exactly. While I will not go far enough to say this was or was not a good trade, it is infuriating that they charge big market prices and run the team like its Kansas City. For all the praise of this trade, is it coincidental that they just lost big bucks off their payroll?

Posted by: raymitten | July 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Norris may not be hitting for a high avg at the moment but, he does have 56 BB in 195 AB. Pretty good eye for a youngster plus, it means teams are pitching around him, another indication that there is talent there.

Capps has been great for the Nats this year. He throws hard and throws strikes. However, he's had a pretty heavy workload in the 1st half and, with Storen, he was not long for the closer role anyway. People are going to like Ramos and being partnered with Pudge can only help his game.

This trade (and probably the eventual trade of Dunn) was made for 2012-2013. Capps didn't figure to be around then anyway. Like the move by Rizzo. Hope now he can pry Beckham away from the ChiSox for Dunn.

Posted by: teamohall | July 30, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

It's about 30 hours to the trade deadline; guess wel'll see about six Miss Iowa and Tyler Walker stories here until the Nats spoon feed the next trade press release to Adam.

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Adam does a decent game story but he couldn't break a pane of glass; he doesn't seem to have any serious sources here or around the league.

Posted by: swanni | July 30, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

This is fine. I would have liked to sign the 26 year old Capps to a long term deal. However, catchers are key to a defense. I remember a few demoralizing years as an O's fan where runners ran at will. It was demoralizing to all. It doesn't matter to me that the Nats saved millions on this particular deal.

Here's what bothers me: The $7.5 million freed up by not signing Capps can be used to more easily absorb Edwin Jackson or someone else, according to Adam K. That's pathetic. Why? Because it assumes the Nats are stuck of a paltry budget of $61 million or so, way below much smaller towns that are half the size or less of our huge and wealthy region.

Highest salary guy ever for Nats in a trade: Soriano at $10 million. He brought Zimmermann and a first rounder when he signed with the Cubs.

Highest salary guy from a trade ever under Lerner: Josh W., who would be worth good prospects if the Nats wanted to deal him (I hope they don't, as the Nats' 3-4-5 guys are a top feature of this team).

Highest free agent signing ever under Lerner: Dunn at $20 mill--and I sure hope they don't salary dump Dunn, who will be more productive than possible incoming prospects for years. But he is worth good prospects.

Highest salary international signing: Maybe Smiley or Maya. But the biggish expenditures have been few and far between.

The point is that if you increase your tiny little budgets, you can gets guys who can build your club. You can turn them into prospects (and Capps was a salary dump from the Pirates) or you can keep some of them and turn them into wins. All it costs is money--a financial commitment to building your club.It helps your future to add talent. Some fans actually think such signings help the present but hurt the future. (The Lerner Syndrome)

Capps, Dunn, Hammer, Maya, and Soriano cost little or nothing in future prospects--just money. So why not open up, at least to average MLB levels? DC is the 8th largest market in MLB, but you would never know it.

Posted by: EdDC | July 30, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to see Capps go. I always enjoyed watching him work; he was like a bulldog out there. Plus, to all appearances, he was a classy guy.

And that having been said, I understand and support the move. Bullpen is one of the few places this team has any depth at all. Meanwhile, we have a glaring hole behind the plate. Sadly, it looks like Flores may never be the catcher we'd hoped for. Pudge is 38, and as this season wears on, you can see the years behind the plate rapidly catching up with him. Hoping I'm wrong, but I expect him to finish the year around .260 at best, and to fall off the cliff entirely next year. We desperately need a catcher NOW. Ramos is certainly unproven at this point, but I think it's a gamble Rizzo had to take.

Posted by: gilbertbp | July 30, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

@raymitten - would you have given Soriano the same deal he got from the Cubs? Probably not, so the issue of what someone is worth is at least debatable. Dunn for more than 3 years is a risk, one they may ultimately take anyway but one that deserves exploring other options.

Rizzo completely rebuild the bullpen in one year. He thinks he can replace Capps and I would agree with him.

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 30, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@Infieldgallery -- While Capps could have been our closer for a decade, we've got other players who can step into that role, like Storen. Who was going to be our catcher for the next decade? While Capps is a great guy, he was expendable, the same way Ramos was for the Twins since they have Mauer.

Posted by: DavidandDonald | July 30, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Rizzo made a solid move here, even if Ramos never completely pans out. He took a closer let go by the Pirates, that had a good 1st half, into a top catching prospect. Not bad.

The problem is not Rizzo. The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is the LernerStanks. Will they ever open up the checkbook worthy of a top 8 market to add solid, proven, veteran FA players that Rizzo can sprinkle in with the prospects he has acquired and drafted?

I'll believe it when it actually happens. For now, I think it will be business as usual, continuing to prepare for a tomorrow that never comes.

Posted by: Section505203 | July 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

And to those who say Capps could have been the closer for a decade, tell me who else has been that good for that long, ever? Hoffman, Rivera... that's it. And those guys had ERAs of like 1. All the other good closers had a good year or three and they lost whatever magic they had and became setup men or car salesmen.

Capps is a great guy and a decent closer, but this is definitely a case of selling very high. To quote that cranky old guy from Law & Order: "make the deal!"

Posted by: Section406 | July 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I am sad to see Capps go but this team needs to continue to look towards the future. And with Stroren waiting in the wings, I think they made a good move to pick up a future quality catcher.

Posted by: colemanNC | July 30, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to see Capps go but he was at maximum trade value and there was a looming hole to fill at catcher. It's been a nice season of redemption for Capps and I hope he continues to do well. Sad news about Flores also, something must be seriously wrong for him to be getting nowhere in rehab after a year. Rizzo was very wise to sign Pudge and this looks like another good move, albeit brought on by the Flores breakdown. Like the game on the field, its all about adjustments.

Posted by: Natmeister | July 30, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I like Capps but he gave me the feeling of Chad Cordero in his heyday from 2005-2007. Yes, he saved a lot of games but was far from a dominant reliever. The Chief injured his arm and we never got anything in return. With few exceptions (Rivera, Papelbon, K-Rod, Hoffman), most teams changes closers every few years as this is a position that can usually be filled pretty easily in free agency.

A topflight catching prospect is the hardest to find and few teams are willing to trade them unless they have a Joe Mauer on their roster. The Yankees have not one, but three catching prospects in their system being groomed to replace Posada. Flores is damaged goods and the Nats are obviously not expecting him to return to his pre-injury form. Ramos at worse is a significant upgrade over Will Nieves and can now learn from Pudge as they split the catching duties over the next year.

Posted by: wizfan89 | July 30, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

"Will someone spell it out for me in plain English? Capps is only 26 years of age. Is the feeling among the baseball "experts" that he is having his "career year" and the rest of his career will see him perform more like he did with the Pirates than he has with the Nats? If so, then somebody come out and say it. If not, then someone explain why you would want to get rid of a 26-year-old all-star closer for ANY prospect, even if it means you'll have to give him a huge raise next year."

Come out and say that this has been a career-year for Capps, essentially kicking dirt on a guy you've just traded? Not a classy move, especially since he's said nothing but nice things about the Nats.

The bottom line is that they've got others who can fill Capps' role. That's what they drafted Storen for, and, recent struggles notwithstanding, he's got the goods. Behind the very good, but old, I-Rod, the Nats have air. Nieves sucks and Flores may never fully recover from his injury. Ramos gives the Nats a legitimate prospect at catcher and allows them to move Bryce Harper (assuming they sign him) into the outfield.

Posted by: rufus_t_firefly | July 30, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I liked Capps but lets be serious, he was non tendered by the Pirates; if you can flip that into a starting catcher then you have to do it, especially since Norris is the only guy who might be there in the future. I like the deal. We didn't draft Storen to be a set up man, he might as well learning the craft in the 25 or so wins we have left. I'll miss you Matt, glad you were here, and for him I'm glad he gets to close in a pennant race, somehting he's not likely to see in DC next year. Wish him well and can't wait to see Ramos learning from Pudge. For Wil, well, Syracuse is a nice place to live in the summer and he's playing baseball for a living, life could be worse.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | July 30, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@ fluffy4

Capps value will never be this high again. He is eligible for arbitration in the offseason and is due about $7.5 million. In free agnecy he would probably get much more, so he's a bargain.
2nd, this cathing prospect Ramos is apparently the deal and we are light on catching prospects that can become future stars. Rizzo filled a void.
3rd, Drew Storen wasn't drafted 10th overall to be a 7th or 8th inning set-up guy. He was drafted to be a closer. Let's see now if he can do it.
We aren't going to the playoffs. There are holes to fill throughout the organization. I don't hink it has to do with money seince we sent cash to the Twins in the deal. Its more about saving money now to pay our own prospects as they mature and grow here, much the Caps are doing now. Its smart business and solidifies the roster now and in the future.

Posted by: jmurray019 | July 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Would you have given Soriano the same deal he got from the Cubs? Probably not, so the issue of what someone is worth is at least debatable. Dunn for more than 3 years is a risk, one they may ultimately take anyway but one that deserves exploring other options. Posted by: sjt1455 | July 30, 2010 9:49 AM |

1. Dunn won't get $136 mill. Nats could have gotten Dunn for half of that or much less last winter, I'll bet. Maybe they still can!

2. Soriano signed for 8 years. Dunn should get maybe 4 or 5 years. (Don't assume he only has leverage for 2 or 3 years.) Dunn is less of a long-term risk than Soriano was.

3. Soriano has always had a terrible OBP for a big star, while Dunn's is world-class.

4. Dunn is a perfect clean-up or #3 hitter. Soriano is not. Nor is Soriano a #1 hole hitter.

5. Everything is a risk, including doing nothing.

Anyway, because the Nats should not have signed Soriano long-term does not automatically mean they should not sign Dunn long-term.

Posted by: EdDC | July 30, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

@EdDC - I agree with your conclusion, my point was against the inference that the Nats don't pay what people are worth.

Posted by: sjt1455 | July 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It's sort of funny the Twins now have Rauch and Capps. I think everybody would agree that this deal certainly looks better than Rauch for little Bonnie (altho the Nats certainly turned Bonnie into two something goods!)
Wonder if Capps or Rauch moves to the set-up role there?

Posted by: nats24 | July 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to see Capps go, he'll be missed here, but wish him well. Wouldn't it be great if he could get to October or even get a ring?
Hope that for the Nats this is a better deal than what they have with Marquis, Wang, and Flores that all haven't panned out this year. Assume they'll look seriously at how they can cut losses there in the off-season.

Posted by: blankspace | July 30, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Capps is a good dude and will be missed. But the Nats just HAD to address the catcher situation.

Posted by: shanks1 | July 30, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure about trading what is (Capps) for what could be (Ramos). At some point, the future has to be now. But it sounds like there is a Part 2 to this deal coming from Rizzo -- so I'll wait and see.

Posted by: loux24 | July 30, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

If Derek Norris is the Nats top position player prospect, this organization is in even worse shape than I thought. He's currently with the Potomac Cannons (Advanced A level), and not doing well (.231/6 HRs/29 RBIs). Granted, he's only 21, and learning to be a professional catcher can do a lot to retard your development as a hitter, but this is still pretty bad. Even if they do shift him to 1B, it's hard to see him at the ML level before 2013. That's an awfully long time to wait to fill a position.

BTW, this is now the second catching prospect they've drafted (along with the unsigned Harper) who apparently is going to be used at another position. Will someone tell the Nats scouts that when searching for a catcher, they should find one who's strong suit is playing the position well?

Posted by: Fairfax6 | July 30, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

AFAIK, there is no team called the Potomac Cannons, nor has there been for several years.

I do hope they'll sign Dunn to an extension. Hard to imagine that hole in the lineup. But I think Rizz did a good job with Capps/Ramos. I'm glad I saw Matt's last save as a Nat yesterday.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | July 30, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

So much for Clip and Save. Guess that tee hits the back of the rack!

Good trade though. Flores will probably never be what was once hoped (sorry to say - and I would love to be proved wrong), and while Pudge is here he needs to be able to mentor a catcher. Defense does start behind he plate.

Now, about second base.....

Posted by: dand187 | July 30, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"Soriano has always had a terrible OBP for a big star, while Dunn's is world-class."

That's mostly because he's played for lousy teams with weak lineups, and people pitch around him because they aren't much afraid of him coming around to score if he walks.

Willie Mays standing on 1B after a walk was still a significant threat to score. Adam Dunn standing on 1B after a BB is more likely a double play, or lead runner erased.

OBP and the save are the two most overrated stats in modern baseball. And Dunn's limited physical skills don't bode well for much success past the age of 30. I give him two more years as a 35+ home run threat, after that it's downhill very fast as his bat speed diminishes and his not espeically flexible body starts to tear and pull itself apart.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | July 30, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Norris may not be hitting for a high avg at the moment but, he does have 56 BB in 195 AB. Pretty good eye for a youngster plus, it means teams are pitching around him, another indication that there is talent there."

That's much more an indication of pitchers with control problems at a low level of minor league baseball.

Unless you've seen A-level baseball (I used to live in Wilmington, Delaware and I've been down to PW County to see a few Cannons games) you've no idea just how raw, unpolished, and simply inadequate most of these kids are. That's why most of them never advance, they simply can't throw the ball accurately enough, whether as pitchers or position players.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | July 30, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Trade Capps - yes. For a catcher - that would be my second choice. They needed a 2nd baseman. They could possibly have gotten more for him but this is good. Move Norris to left Bernadina to center and Willingham to right. Closer??? It's Storen!!! Forget the other guys please. KEEP FREEKIN' DUNN!!!!!

Posted by: Dog-1 | July 30, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"AFAIK, there is no team called the Potomac Cannons, nor has there been for several years."

Sorry, you're right, they're now the Nationals. But in my heart, they'll always be the Cannons. :-)

What I remember most about those games is one where I was sitting behind this extended family of 10 or 12 adults (and God knows how many kids) encompassing what looked like perhaps 4 generations, and being awed by the number of empty beer cups and plastic bottles they deposited underneath their seats. By the end of the game, the pile was spilling over into the row behind them. They must have averaged the equivalent of more than a six-pack per adult.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | July 30, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Clip n Save: Hmmm, that means store away for later. I guess that's us! (2012)

Posted by: paulkp | July 30, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't see what the excitement is about Ramos. Whatever promise people think he has, the fact is he is hitting .241 for a Triple A team. Most Triple A players with a .241 average will never make it in the majors. This is a good return for our only All Star player?

Once again the Nationals make a deal that succeeds primarily in saving the owners money.

Will they also deal Adam Dunn, the strongest link in our weak hitting lineup (24 HR, .364 OBP, and .563 slugging average) to save more money?

The Nats owners are disrespectful to Washington fans by failing to invest in a good team--or even a team that doesn't finish last.

Posted by: rlyork3dc | July 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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