Friday, July 30, 2010

Fare thee well, Mr. Capps

Yesterday Mike Rizzo traded away Matt Capps and $500K to Minnesota for catcher Wilson Ramos and LHP Joe Testa. Now, who Joe Testa is doesn't really matter (cough:24 years old in high A ball:cough), but who Wilson Ramos is does. He was ranked the 42nd prospect in all of baseball coming into this year by Keith Law. That link may be for ESPN Insiders only, so here's a snippet of what Law said.
...when he plays he hits, and he plays a premium position at which bats like his are hard to find. ... he throws extremely well (he's nailed 43 percent of would-be base stealers in the past two years) and his receiving is adequate. ... At the plate, he has strong hands and very good hand-eye coordination, with a hard, line-drive-oriented swing

Now, Derek Norris came into this year ranked ahead of Ramos at #31, but his season so far has been nothing short of disappointing. Derek's power has vanished, but he's still getting on base at an incredible clip (.408). That really doesn't do too much to make his other numbers look good, though (.231 batting average and a .374 slugging percentage). The power loss can hopefully (PLEASE, JESUS PLEASE!) be attributed to the hamate bone surgery he had at the end of last year, as 99% of the players that have surgery there take a full year to regain their power. (Even the Non-Human Zim had his power drop. Those 14 HR in 2008? Yup, the year of his hamate surgery. His HR total the year before was 24, and went up to a career high 33 the year after).
So, Ramos goes to the #1 overall position in the Nats prospects list, and becomes the next catcher. Ramos is better defensively than Norris, as well, so that even frees the Nats up to move Derek if his bat demands he play in the big leagues.
And... Matty Capps? God love him. He throws strikes, and is so damn friendly. He will give the Twins a true closer (a position the Wookie - Jon Rauch - had been trying to fill) and a great shot to win their division. He was our All-Star rep, and leads the league in games finished (43) and is 4th in the league in saves (26). What does that mean? It means that he was due an extremely large raise after this season, and I'm not sure the Nats needed to pay it. He signed a 1 year $3.5MM contract to come here, and my guess is he'll see ~$6MM for next year after arbitration. Why pay Capps that much when we have Drew Storen here to take over the closer role next year? Drew had (and still has) this year to learn in a MLB bullpen, and will even get his feet wet with save opportunities now that Capps is gone. There is no doubt in my mind Storen will come into next year as the closer out of spring training.

Jesus. So sorry for the super duper long serious baseball talk. I had quite a few friends ask me how I felt about the deal and when I told them that I loved the trade, they asked why. So - I wrote this post. Now, let's bid a fond farewell to Matt Capps for his two greatest achievements here in DC - His fucking incredible entrance music (Europe's The Final Countdown) and his fucking incredibly awkward celebration photos. Ladies and Gentlemen... the least photogenic high-fiver of all time...

Mr. Matthew Capps.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He has got to be the oldest 26 year old I have ever seen. He makes Greg Oden look like a teenager. Is that what 4 years in Pittsburgh does to you???