Thursday, July 29, 2010 10:53pm
By Mark ZuckermanCSNwashington.com
The Washington Nationals have traded closer Matt Capps to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for 22-year-old catcher Wilson Ramos and minor-league left-hander Joe Testa.
Ramos is a highly touted catcher who was rated by Baseball America as the Twins' second-best prospect and baseball's 58th-best prospect entering the season, and was among the players being discussed when Minnesota was trying to acquire pitcher Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners. A native of Venezuela, he is a career .284 hitter in parts of five minor-league seasons who appeared in eight big-league games earlier this season and went 8-for-27 with three doubles.
Testa, a 24-year-old reliever, owns a career 3.33 ERA in three minor-league seasons. In 36 games between Class A and Class AA this year, he's a combined 2-5 with a 5.50 ERA.
Capps' departure comes after the 26-year-old resurrected his career to earn 26 saves and an All-Star berth after getting nontendered by the Pirates in December. The Nationals signed him later that month to a one-year, 3.5 million contract. He would still have been under their control in 2011, but stands to earn a sizable raise.
The Nationals already have a closer-in-waiting in Drew Storen, though manager Jim Riggleman may be reluctant to thrust the rookie into that role full-time right off the bat, and could also use Tyler Clippard or Joel Peralta in the ninth inning as the rest of this season plays out.