Friday, July 30, 2010


The Twins have won six games in a row.  They've been an offensive juggernaut over that span, and they've gotten some pretty darn good pitching too.  Today's post was supposed to be about how incredible Joe Mauer, Delmon Young, and Danny Valencia have been of late.  About how Mauer is 27-for-51 with 17 RBIs in 12 games against Kansas City this year, giving him a triple slash line of .529/.550/.784.  About how Young has been one of the best hitters in the Majors in July, putting up a line of .439/.462/.745.  About how he's been ever more ridiculous in his last six games, going 15-for-31 with 3 homers and a 1.513 OPS.  About how, for four games, Valencia lit the world on fire, collecting 14 hits in 20 at bats to go with a 4 doubles, a grand slam, and 8 RBIs.

But then Bill Smith had to go and ruin all that good work of the Minnesota players.  Bill Smith had to go and trade Wilson Ramos to the Nationals for Matt Capps.  Wilson Ramos, the same guy who was a consensus top-5 prospect in the Twins' organization and ranked the #58 overall prospect by Baseball America at the beginning of the season.  And if that wasn't enough, the Twins also sent minor league pitcher Joe Testa to Washington.  I guess to be thorough I should mention the Twins are getting cash considerations, but does that really matter?

I just don't understand this at all.  Capps is a solid reliever, but the Twins already have a bunch of solid relievers.  It's pretty clear this is just another over-valuation of the save statistic.  Bill Smith and the Twins organization saw a guy who had struggled in the month of July (Jon Rauch); on the other side, they saw a guy who's picked up 26 saves in 30 chances for Washington.  Of course they didn't see that Rauch's FIP is 3.43, a tad better than Capps' 3.51.  How can they be so oblivious to this?

Congratulations to Mike Rizzo, the Nationals' General Manager.  He convinced the Twins to trade a top prospect for just a solid reliever, and even managed to steal a second player.  While Testa is no world-beater, he was ranked #40 among Twins prospects by Aaron Gleeman and #49 by Seth Stohs this past off-season, so he's not a total nobody.  Ramos may not have had any future with the Twins, since they've got Mauer, but that doesn't mean you just give him away.

They couldn't have gotten anything better for Ramos?  I really find that hard to believe.  I want to say that Rizzo extracted more from the Twins than the Diamondbacks managed to get for Dan Haren!  This deal just absolutely confounds me.  When Twin #2 told me, I was sure he was joking.  Then I went through denial as I begged him to tell me it wasn't true.  And now I'm in the stage of depression, but hopefully I'll move onto acceptance sometime soon.  As Twin #2 pointed out to me, we better see Capps closing out the World Series for the Twins this October, or this was just a complete waste of talent.  And even then...

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