The trade deadline flurry is continuing in baseball and one of the most interesting moves took place between the Twins and Nationals tonight.
Minnesota trails the White Sox by a game and a half and looked to make their pitching staff deep. The Twins strengthened their bullpen with Nats All Star closer Matt Capps. Granted he was an All Star simply because Stephen Strasburg wasn’t selected… but the Capps deal may affect Strasburg and his fellow #1 pick overall Bryce Harper in the long and short term.
The Twins shipped off Wilson Ramos, one of the best catching prospects in baseball, to Washington and frankly that is much more interesting than the Twins pen getting deep.
The Twins have no room for Ramos with Mauer signed to a long term deal and he was worth more as a trade chip. (They tried to use him to pick up Cliff Lee.)
The Nationals got a major league ready catcher who can move right into the big club and learn from Pudge Rodriguez, one of the best ever, for this season and next.
By the time the 2011 season ends, he’ll have a season and a half under Pudge’s wing and be only 23 years old.
When 2012 rolls around (assuming the world won’t be ending) Ramos will probably be the starting catcher. Stephen Strasburg will be at full strength.
And maybe Bryce Harper will be ready.
Now Harper, who was drafted as a catcher, doesn’t need the tools of ignorance. Forget learning to catch and handle a pitching staff… just learn to hit and be as advertised at the plate.
If Harper is as good as promised (or even remotely as good) then the development of Ramos might add 5 years to Harper’s career.
It’s a ripple effect and Washington could very well be an exciting baseball town in 2012 when Obama is up for reelection.
And all of this because they signed Matt Capps, a non tendered free agent from Pittsburgh, who cost the Nationals no draft pick compensation.
Not a bad off season move.
Now all Strasburg, Ramos and Harper have to do is be awesome and Hall of Fame caliber in their career.