July 30, 2010

Twins get Matt Capps from Nationals for Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa

Matt Capps was available for nothing this offseason. Non-tendered by the Pirates in December following a career-worst campaign that saw him post a 5.80 ERA and .324 opponents' batting average while serving up 10 homers in 54.1 innings, Capps became a free agent and signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Nationals in large part because they were one of the only teams willing to promise him an opportunity to remain a closer.

And last night the Twins decided to overpay for that closing experience, acquiring Capps from the Nationals for Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa. To be clear, Capps is a good, solid late-inning reliever. He bounced back nicely in Washington with a 2.74 ERA and 38-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 46 innings and has a 3.50 ERA in 317 career innings. However, if not for his racking up 93 saves for bad teams I'm convinced the Twins never would have even considered this move.

Much like the Twins turning to Jon Rauch with Joe Nathan sidelined, Capps' reputation as an "experienced closer" comes largely from teams simply giving him a shot to accumulate saves. Rauch has done a perfectly fine job filling in for Nathan, converting 21-of-25 saves with a 3.05 ERA and 27-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 38.1 innings, and if given a longer opportunity may have turned himself into an "established closer" just like Capps did. Seriously.

Take a look at their respective career numbers as relievers:

           IP     ERA     FIP    SO/9    BB/9     AVG     OBP     SLG     OPS
Capps     317    3.50    3.80     7.0     1.7    .263    .302    .415    .717
Rauch     402    3.54    3.90     7.5     2.7    .242    .297    .390    .687

Capps has had better control, Rauch has been tougher to hit, and their overall effectiveness is nearly identical across the board. If pressed I'd pick Capps over Rauch because he's younger and has fared better in Expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP), but by far the biggest difference between them is that one has accumulated saves for four seasons while the other has accumulated saves for one season.

No one would ever suggest that trading Ramos for a reliever who's slightly better than Rauch is a sound idea, yet by focusing on the save statistic the Twins have done just that and many fans will instinctively be on board with the move for an "established closer." Now, don't get me wrong: Capps is a quality reliever and represents a clear upgrade to the Twins' bullpen. What he's not is an elite reliever or enough of an upgrade to part with Ramos.

Capps is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next season as well, which means the Twins essentially traded Ramos and Testa for 1.5 seasons of him. Unfortunately part of his inflated perceived value includes his likely price-tag in arbitration, which is sure to rise from this year's $3.5 million salary to over $5 million (and perhaps well over $5 million) thanks to those same shiny-looking save totals.

Capps makes the Twins better for the final two months of this season and all of next year, but the improvement isn't nearly as large as the "All-Star closer" label would have you believe and the cost involved is significant in terms of both players and money. Next season the Twins will pay a premium for a quality setup man they perceive as something more because of a reliance on a flawed statistic and they gave up a good catching prospect for the right do that.

In fairness, Ramos' value is inflated as well. His historic debut caused the Twins fans who don't know any better to assume that he was destined for stardom and his subsequent struggles at Triple-A have exposed him as a good but not great prospect. However, he still projects as a good defender behind the plate and a 22-year-old being overmatched in his first experience at Triple-A is far from disastrous.

I'm not convinced that Ramos will become a star, but the possibility certainly exists and at the very least he looks capable of developing into a starting-caliber catcher for many years. Joe Mauer's presence meant Ramos had little shot to be that starting-caliber catcher in Minnesota, but that doesn't mean the Twins needed to deal him immediately or when his value was at an all-time low or for an underwhelming return like Capps.

I have no problem with trading Ramos or trading for bullpen help, and in the Twins' minds they just traded him for an "All-Star closer." In reality they traded Ramos for a setup-caliber reliever who accumulated saves on bad teams and is thus overrated and soon overpaid. Among the 93 pitchers who've logged 150-plus relief innings in the past three calendar years, Capps ranks 38th in xFIP, 49th in FIP, 50th in ERA, 61st in strikeout rate, and 85th in opponents' average.

You'd think the Twins would have learned something about the created-not-born nature of the closer role and often spurious value of saves from Rauch's relatively successful stint filling in for Nathan, but instead they just paid a premium for a guy whose perceived value and ability are much higher than his actual value and ability solely because of his role and save total. Capps is a good reliever, but the Twins paid for a great reliever and did so for all the wrong reasons.

104 Comments »

  1. And it shows even more Twins don’t trust their own minor leaugue relievers. Neshek still that far away? Waldrop?

    Comment by Peter — July 30, 2010 @ 1:18 am

  2. Now the Toronto-Astros deal looks slightly better. The going rate for prospects is at an all time low, I guess.

    Comment by Carlos — July 30, 2010 @ 1:18 am

  3. maybe a prospect is just only a prospect…and lower then 50% of the great prospects ever play mlb for some years or more….
    i liked Rauch as closer, and Nathan can be back next year…so we really need Capps? But with Guerrier, Rauch, Nathan and Capps we have nearly the deepest/best relieving team in mlb. And Ramos…only would have been a 2nd choice catcher for years to come….

    Comment by chris — July 30, 2010 @ 1:29 am

  4. Very interesting. If Capps closes NEXT year, and we let Rauch walk, will he be a Type A or B Free agent? If he is a Type A, we get a first rounder for him, Type B I believe is a sandwich pick.

    Then when Nathan comes back, during the season, he will be in his last year of making $10-$12 million, perhaps the thinking is trade Joe next July and if Capps is only making $5 million, perhaps we can sign him to an extension and there will be more money in the off-season.

    Next spring will be interesting, I would guess with Joe’s age (35) next spring, they aren’t sure spending $10-$12 million on him, to close makes sense?

    Comment by John — July 30, 2010 @ 1:43 am

  5. Couldn’t be more disappointed with this trade. The Twins just sold low, a stupid strategy no matter what you’re discussing, on one of their best assets. I agree with the previous poster, couldn’t they just call up Waldrop if they really thought they needed another bullpen arm. Having Capps instead of someone like Mahay can’t be worth even half a win for the rest of the year. My biggest fear is that this is going to cost Slama his spot in the pen.

    Comment by derek — July 30, 2010 @ 1:44 am

  6. slama should stay or be replaced by waldrop..maybe neshek…blackburn should move to AAA.

    Rauch a Type A or B free agent??? I do not think so…that he is worth here anything………

    Comment by chris — July 30, 2010 @ 1:57 am

  7. maybe he will be a Type B free Agent…but not more…

    Comment by chris — July 30, 2010 @ 1:59 am

  8. Most probable scenario (no injuries etc)
    Matt G – type A
    Jon Raunch – type B
    Jessie Crain – type B
    Nick Punto – Priceless…

    Comment by ak103 — July 30, 2010 @ 2:07 am

  9. I wish Ramos would’ve been part of a package for an ace-quality starter. Oh well, this isn’t as bad as Matt Lawton for Rick Reed. Like most moves Billy Smith has made in his tenure as GM it is a small short-term improvement and a moderate long-term deficit.

    This team’s success in the last decade has been developing pitching within the minor league system. Overpaying for pitching from other teams is a very bad sign.

    Comment by wengler — July 30, 2010 @ 2:16 am

  10. But the entire assumption here is that Capps will be as good as he has been in Washington, which is an overrated observation. How do we know that Capps, as a reliever, will not be better for a playoff contending team as he has been for non-contending team. I don’t mean to point out specious observations, but this sort of thing has happened in the past for the Twins. Just look at the acquisition of Rauch from last year. We didn’t give up a promising prospect for him, but honestly, we cannot judge this trade until we see how Capps performs in a Twins uniform.

    Comment by Clearly — July 30, 2010 @ 2:18 am

  11. Paying that high of a price reeks of desperation. A desperation I don’t share.

    Comment by Sam — July 30, 2010 @ 4:23 am

  12. Clearly:

    Basically your best case scenario is dependent on statistical noise. The trade can be judged by the relative value of the pieces as they stand now.

    For this to pan out positively for the Twins Capps would have to vastly outperform his past numbers.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 4:35 am

  13. Clearly: ? Really? Clearly, Ramos (other then his extremely short stint with the Twins this season) did not contibute to the Twins playoff hopes this season and most likely would not have contributed next year. The biggest upgrade here is that Rauch will now be able to eat more set up innings where his true value stands. The Twins have Butera and Morales who are servicable backups to Mauer for the next 4-5 years. Not a great deal but Rauch/Capps as setup/closer is better then what we had. This is a win now move. Yes, an ace starter would have been the best move. One thing people forget, despite the save being an overrated stat, having a reliable closer gives the manager and players a piece of mind which can’t be quantified.

    Comment by Large Canine — July 30, 2010 @ 6:12 am

  14. This is absolute garbage–so mad at this deal. Capps will strike out the side one game and fans will think he’s awesome–until he gets blown up one game and they realize they just flipped Ramos for another Nationals reliever who really isn’t any better at “defending 3 run leads” than Rauch was.

    Comment by Jeff H — July 30, 2010 @ 6:17 am

  15. Not wild about the trade, but generally supportive due to a few factors:

    1.) I would have to assume the Twins engaged in discussions for starting pitching with Arizona, Houston, Chicago Cubs, et.al., and that Ramos was offered as part of a deal. I would also have to assume that they were not overly impressed with him as a core prospect.
    2.) Conversely, Ramos seems drastically overvalued by Twins fans who’ve been reading what a can’t-miss prospect he is for the last 2-3 years.
    3.) I have a lot of faith in the Twins scouts. Do I trust them more than the evaluation of a sabermetrician? No comment.

    Comment by David — July 30, 2010 @ 6:27 am

  16. The numbers speak for themselves, no matter who they come from. This is a disappointing deal from a team that has serious problems evaluating bullpen talent. Look at the state of ours and tell me you have a lot of faith in Twins scouts. Our bullpen has been third rate for years, now. It’s why we can’t win a playoff game. This guy can’t put up numbers against teams like the Rays and Yankees.

    Comment by Adam Platt — July 30, 2010 @ 6:34 am

  17. Gleeman said of Capps: “Next season the Twins will pay a premium for a quality setup man”. This assumes Nathan will be ready for Game #1. We’ve seen enough of these elbow surgery rehabs around here to know that ain’t gonna happen.

    Comment by Cleat — July 30, 2010 @ 7:30 am

  18. i went to bed thinking replacing wilson ramos with jose morales in my head. thinking, “i dont know why everyone thinks this is a bad deal.” oh no, terrible.

    Comment by JB — July 30, 2010 @ 7:32 am

  19. If Ron Gardenhire is your manager, you need bullpen options. Lots of them. I recognize that the Twins could get seriously burned on this deal, but I’m not as down on the trade as most of the Gleemanites. Cliff Lee wasn’t coming here; Roy Oswalt wasn’t coming here. Not excited about any of the other available starters. And besides, the numbers suggest that the current Twins starters other than Pavano have been unlucky. So let’s bolster the ‘pen.

    Capps is still young. He’s about to turn 27, and let’s face it: odds are Nathan never closes again. Capps could be the closer here for several years. Or not.

    As big a question as Capps is how Rauch does returning to the setup role. His recent streak of wildness is pretty disconcerting.

    So, yes, it’s a risky deal. And trading for an “established” closer is contrary to the Twins Way. But don’t wet yourselves. If there’s anything that’s more overvalued than relievers in MLB trades, it’s catching prospects. This could work out OK…

    Comment by Neil — July 30, 2010 @ 7:42 am

  20. @Adam – Third rate? Really?

    We have no idea if Capps will put up great numbers against the Yankees and Rays. He’s put up good numbers on bad teams, I’m assuming those bad teams faced good teams every so often. I have confidence that the front office knows what they are doing and I don’t think that this is the only move they’ll make. Could they have gotten more for Ramos? It doesn’t look like it.

    Comment by JMP — July 30, 2010 @ 8:11 am

  21. How many years have we begged the Twins to make a trade with “this year” in mind and stop worrying about the future 3 years down the road. The truth is that the Twins and their fans dramatically overestimate the value of their prospects. If this trade helps the bullpen and gets them into the playoffs, then it’s ok. Mauer and Morneau are not getting any younger…

    Comment by TR — July 30, 2010 @ 8:26 am

  22. from a financial standpoint, the closer by committee approach may be the way to go. twins simply can’t afford to be turning every fill-in into another joe nathan

    Comment by yefrem — July 30, 2010 @ 8:33 am

  23. Look at this way…
    1) No trade and two weeks down the road Rauch is still wild and has blown 1-3 more saves. Crain is a mess again and Gurrier is tired. Now what?

    2) Yankees get Capps instead of Twins.

    3) White Sox have Jenks, Thorton, and Putz out of the pen. With the exception of a couple Sundays ago they are solid and shorten the game to 6 innings. Same thing can’t be said for Twins.

    Good trade for a team with a need today and tomorrow. His modest salary and team control required a higher value prospect. I like this better than a 2 month 3/4th starter rental.

    Comment by pk — July 30, 2010 @ 8:37 am

  24. Yefrem is correct. Financially speaking the days of committing $11M to a closer are over for the Twins post Mauer contract.

    Comment by pk — July 30, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  25. I hate this trade even more than I did last night. It shows that the Twins’ front office over values certain stats, and under appreciates the predictive nature of more advanced stats. As for Capps, he’s just not that good. As for “trading for now”, most of us have argued for a legit hitter or starting pitcher. Few of us who have posted here or other places believe that trading legit prospects for a reliever makes sense.

    Comment by mike wants wins — July 30, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  26. The Twins had a good idea of how the rest of the league valued Ramos. He was thoroughly shopped. He’s only 22 but his value wasn’t going to increase playing in AAA for another season.
    Good Trade.

    Comment by pk — July 30, 2010 @ 8:45 am

  27. Pen and closer: First of all Joe Nathan is arguably one of the ten best closer’s all time. The Twins will not have one of those in the foreseable future. Not to mention Gleeman’s play down of the position and Save stat. Before Nathan went down, the consensus was that Rauch was an above average setup guy and a definate asset to the Twins. If this Ramos for Capps deal was completed a week after Nathan went down it would have been hailed as the answer for who closes in 2010. Of course we would rather have Rauch setting up and Nathan closing. If Ramos came up and hit .241 with the Twins instead of his 7-9 start, Twins fans would not be as concerned about this trade. Bottomline: Ramos would not have helped the Twins win playoff games in 2010 or 2011. If one Jon Rauch is good, then two (essentially Capps) is better.

    Comment by Large Canine — July 30, 2010 @ 8:58 am

  28. Good analysis by Phil Mackey. The love of Ramos on this page is a bit over the top over the last 12 hours or so. The bottom line is we’ll know, at best, whether Ramos was as good as billed in about five years. For a team looking to win now that’s a long time.

    http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Mackey_Twins_saw_Capps_as_best_available_bullpen_arm

    Comment by Abe — July 30, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  29. no starters were available to the Twins. Lilly didn’t want to come here. Haren wanted to stay on the west coast. Lee was too expensive and Oswalt wanted to stay in the national league. Everyone else was no different then what the Twins already had. This upgrades the bullpen by pushing Rauch to the 8th inning role and Capps in as the closer. Next year Nathan could come back OR the twins could save that money and get an OF that actually plays defense.

    Comment by chris — July 30, 2010 @ 9:06 am

  30. Has gleeman ever seen a trade that he liked?

    Comment by amb — July 30, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  31. What exactly is Ramos’s value? He’s a good defensive catcher that hit well in the low minors. Big f**& whoop-de-doo. He’s a PROSPECT. Meanwhile, the Twins have now replaced Duensing in the bullpen. Time to demote Blackburn to Rochester, where he can try to learn how to pitch again.

    Comment by Dave T — July 30, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  32. I don’t understand why everyone’s argument for the trade includes the fact that Ramos wasn’t ever going to catch for the Twins, or that he wasn’t going to contribute at all in the immediate future. No one on the other side of the trade is making that argument. I think that everyone realizes he wasn’t a part of the Twins’ future. The point that Gleeman and others are making is that the Twins sold low on one of their top prospects and did so for a good, not great, reliever who they’re only guaranteed to have for 14 months. Just because Ramos doesn’t factor into their plans doesn’t mean they should trade him the first chance that they get. And most of us are agreeing that Ramos’ value has been inflated, but those for the trade are assuming he’ll never improve. He’s a 22-year old in his first season at AAA, so there is a very good chance that his stock does improve after repeating the level next year.

    Ultimately I think everyone can agree that Capps helps solidify the bullpen, but he’s not a guy that is going to vault this team to the World Series, so the win now argument kind of falls short.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  33. “Has gleeman ever seen a trade that he liked?” None that the Twins have ever made.

    Comment by Matt — July 30, 2010 @ 10:01 am

  34. I’m not thrilled about this deal either. I agree with the speculation that the Twins made this deal because they could not fill their need for a starter. Where is the logic in that? We cant fill an obvious need…so instead let’s take our best trading chip and use it for a questionable need.

    HOWEVER, I am willing to give the deal the benefit of the doubt because of the FO’s outstanding record of success over the last couple of years. I came to AG site today expecting the obvious from AG and the Gleemites….and of course there it was…a complete hammering of the Twins FO for their abject stupidity in making this deal…complete with Sabermetric stats which ONLY support the writers and commenters side of the argument.

    At this point in time the question needs to be asked …”Do you ever get tired of being wrong?” Virtually every move the FO has made in the last year has not just worked out but been outstanding.
    Starting with obtaining Raush last year for nothing….the O-Cab deal….Hardy for Go-Go…the O-Dog deal….signing Thome…Pavano….the intitial reaction to ALL of these deals in this space ranged from strongly negative to over the top hammering.

    I am far from a cool-aid drinking Twins fan who rejects the opinions of “bloggers” and “stat-heads” but at what point in time do you give the FO some credit for MAYBE, POSSIBLY knowing more than you do (that is more directed at the Gleemites, then Glee himself). A very very strong argument could be made for Bill Smith as Executive of the Year and yet if comments made here about all these deals were read in a vacuum any reader would be convinced he is a complete idiot.

    As a Twin fan…..the biggest hope I have for this trade is the the fact that Gleeman and the Gleemites are hammering it again….and lately they have been wrong pretty much 100% of the time….

    Comment by okietwin — July 30, 2010 @ 10:01 am

  35. What if trading for Capps means they can afford to let a combination of Rauch, Guerrier, and Crain walk and use the savings to resign Pavano and bring up the kids Waldrop and Delaney.

    I’d rather resign Pavano and go with Capps, Nathan and the kids.

    Comment by tiny — July 30, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  36. “No one on the other side of the trade is making that argument.”

    Should rather say that the other side is not making that argument.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 10:02 am

  37. The secondary stats don’t always tell all Aaron. If you’ve watched this guy pitch he’s a very good reliever with very good stuff. He just made this bullpen one of the best in the league moving Rausch back to a late inning reliever rather than our primary closer. ALWAYS trade prosepcts for guys who are proven in this league especially when your team is built to win NOW. Yes it’s a risk of course with prospects but it always is when trading them away. Offensively our team is top 3 in the AL and now our bullpen is also top 3. That is a good combination to win postseason games with our great 3 man roation of Liriano, Pavano and Duensing.

    Comment by Parkman — July 30, 2010 @ 10:03 am

  38. “Starting with obtaining Raush last year for nothing….the O-Cab deal….Hardy for Go-Go…the O-Dog deal….signing Thome…Pavano….the intitial reaction to ALL of these deals in this space ranged from strongly negative to over the top hammering.”

    okietwin,

    You may want to re-think that comment. I’m quite certain that Gleeman praised the Hudson and Thome signings and the Pavano deal. I don’t think anyone was overwhelmed with the Cabrera deal, but it was solid, not great. I can’t recall his initial reaction to the Hardy trade, but I don’t believe he “hammered” it as you say. And if you can’t handle all of the scary numbers, perhaps you need to read a more mainstream site.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 10:13 am

  39. The argument that says Capps isn’t enough to get us into the World Series, so why do it, is a bogus argument. As the Cardinals from a few years ago told us and the 1987 Twins told us and numerous other examples tell us, is that that once you get into the playoffs, things happen. You simply have to take a shot. These things never work exactly the way you think they will. TAKE A SHOT!!! Once we’re in, hey, why not us….

    Comment by TR — July 30, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  40. Built to “win now” is all smoke and mirrors, placating the masses. Oh, I forgot, that’s what sports are all about. But in the Twins case in particular, “win now” means going out in the first round of the playoffs, while selling lots of home game tickets and merch.

    The Twins starters as now beating the Rays, Yankees, Cardinals or Phillies? For two rounds of playoffs?

    Really.

    Comment by brian — July 30, 2010 @ 10:14 am

  41. So what if he is closing for bad teams? He’s still facing the same teams every other national league team plays against. It’s not like he pitches against his own team every night.

    Comment by Kyle — July 30, 2010 @ 10:16 am

  42. If the Yankees would have landed Capps, at whatever cost, we’d all be whining: Where was Bill Smith? Why didn’t he make this deal?

    Comment by Section 619 — July 30, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  43. To those saying this FO can do no wrong:

    Brendan Harris for two years. Nick Blackburn for 4 years….just sayin’

    Comment by mike wants wins — July 30, 2010 @ 10:25 am

  44. No reasonable fan whines about missing out on Matt f’ing Capps.

    Comment by thegeneral13 — July 30, 2010 @ 10:26 am

  45. Brian: So what your solution? Forget this year? Wait till 2015 when our A ball prospects are ready? When you say, “placate the masses..”, what does that mean? That a team with a $100M payroll should quit. That I’m an idiot for thinking a team with two MVP’s can compete?

    Comment by TR — July 30, 2010 @ 10:27 am

  46. @Section 619

    Uh, I wouldn’t.

    @TR

    I’d rather that the Twins didn’t make a move than overpay for a reliever. The Twins can make the playoffs without Capps, so what’s the point of your argument?

    @Parkman

    You’re really reaching on Duensing being part of a “great” three man rotation. He will never start in a potential playoff series. Baker will be the third starter.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  47. I trust our minor league scouts and maybe they saw something in Ramos, and with 3 FA relievers next year and no guarantee that Nathan is back this is a good deal. Also, Mauer aint leaving catcher anytime soon. We are not a 50 million payroll team anymore, there will be other catchers.

    Comment by Jkring — July 30, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  48. I dont think any front office (other than maybe the Astro’s front office) is stupid enough to do a trade that basicallly every knowledgeable fan strongly disagrees if both the fans and the front office have the same amount of information. I would not be surprised if Ramos has lost a lot of trade value. He clearly hasn’t been enough to get any one else.

    Maybe the twins see his stock as greatly falling and want to ship him out while he still has some value, and because not much else is on the market, capps was the best we could get.

    I guaruntee they have other reasons for doing the trade, rather than thinking Capps’s value and Ramos’s perceived value by Twins fans is equal.

    Not that im completely for this trade by any means. But there are certainly a lot of things that are being left off the table when discussing this trade.

    Comment by KG — July 30, 2010 @ 10:43 am

  49. Brian you don’t understand baseball. Just because a team is better on paper, does not mean you give up. Look at the Cardinals a few years back. Won the wildcard giving up more runs than they scored and went on to win the world series! With a little luck and a hot streak any one can do it.

    Comment by thekal — July 30, 2010 @ 10:50 am

  50. They’ve overpaid for a reliever that they already have and did not address the larger issue of starring pitching.

    Comment by Bernie — July 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am

  51. argh…starring / starting…

    Comment by Bernie — July 30, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  52. Brian-

    The cards got swept last year by the dogers, who’s team is pretty equivalent to the Twins this year. The phillies aren’t even in the play offs as of now, and if they do make it, Pavano out pitched Halladay earlier this season IN philly. Liriano compares to either Oswalt or Hamels, if not better than them. and their bullpen blows. the Rays have a better staff, but other than crawford, longoria and zobrist, who can hit?

    And well the Yanks, we gotta get lucky there.

    But that doesnt mean you give up.

    Comment by junkie — July 30, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  53. “the Twins and their fans overestimate the value of their prospects.”

    I have seen this worthless quote parroted by several defenders of this deal in the last 24 hours. All baseball fans dramatically overestimate their teams prospects, and they hope their teams GM does as well. Instead, the Twins front office tends to do the opposite. Little faith in Neshak or Bartlett, and the assumption that Garza was just another of many interchangeable SP prospects, instead of an elite starting pitcher prospect. Little faith in most of the current minor leaguers they have, including some great looking relief prospects.

    Even if the Twins have lost faith in Ramos, they made a classic bonehead deal here by buying high and selling low. He’s not a Dayton Moore, but this deal and several previous ones make me question Smith’s player valuation ability. I fear we may have one of the bottom five GM’s in baseball.

    Comment by Buddy Grant — July 30, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  54. the more i ponder this, the more i like it. CAPPS gives gardenhire a lot more options, and if the twins play their cards right, CAPPS could save the team money in the long-term.

    Comment by yefrem — July 30, 2010 @ 11:09 am

  55. This is the 1st sign that Twins bullpen will be much different next year. Most likely two of these three will not be on the 2011 roster – Rauch, Crain, Guerrier. It also means that they believe Neshek will be ready and possibly one of the other fellas in the minors. With impending raises they will have to cut money somewhere and paying more $25 million (with Nathan’s salary) for a bullpen won’t happen with this team. Next year could be Nathan’s last year (2012 buyout of $2mil). What we are seeing is the evolution of the bullpen (Capps and Slama) while maintaining a top quality team.

    Comment by Mell — July 30, 2010 @ 11:17 am

  56. Gleeman had major issues when the Twins included Eduardo Morlan in the Garza-Delmon trade. Three years later and Morlan hasn’t sniffed the bigs. Meanwhile, we’re seeing Delmon blossom at the ripe old age of 24. Bartlett and Garza continue to contribute for TB. TB still got the best of that trade. Three years from now, it may be different. That’s the beauty of baseball. It’s so tough to project these young guys. We’ll see how Ramos plays out in DC.

    Comment by JR Cigar — July 30, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  57. Fire Bill Smith, hire Kim Ng. Praise Allah.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  58. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to read these write-ups on the trades the front office makes. Yes, Capps is overvalued because of his position. Sure, Ramos could blossom into a great prospect. But the fact of the matter is that this is a move that could help them win the World Series this year.

    I love you, AG, but at some point you have to give up the ghost on certain prospects and completely 100% fair trades (because they don’t exist).

    To set the record straight, I think we overpaid, but Capps is going to be very valuable down the stretch and he helps shore up some problems AG wrote about earlier this month with the bullpen. Ramos was probably never gonna make it to Minnesota full-time, and everyone needs to realize that… Billy pulled the trigger because they’re trying to make a push… and this deal also shows that opposing GM’s were able to take advantage of Ramos’ depreciated value because of the Mauer situation.

    All in all, I’m totally fine with this.

    Comment by jacksonattack — July 30, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  59. I like the general idea. The Twins tried to get Oswalt or Lilly but it just wasn’t going to happen. We kind of needed another setup quality reliever and we got it.

    Ramos is over rated locally I feel. I think most circles don’t peg him as a top 50 or 75 prospect necessarily the way we do. It hasn’t helped for him to struggle at AAA because now he again looks a couple or few years out potentially.

    However, Ramos and Testa is still too much for a year and a half of control over a setup guy that you basically are having to really pay for. Seriously. Why did we have to throw in the second piece? I feel like the Twins just got schooled.

    But let’s look at the bright side. Ramos/Testa weren’t going to help us this season and Capps absolutely will help. Our bullpen looks much stronger now that we have added a guy who in all honestly might now be our best reliever.

    So while long term we kind of got screwed this young man will certainly help this team with the stretch run.

    Comment by Jake — July 30, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  60. Jacksonattack: I think you summed it up very well. No trade is perfect. Each team has different motivations when they do a deal and you go with what you know at a given point in time. Hey, the Twins think they need some bullpen help and they made a move to fix it. Other teams do this stuff and their fans expect it. We do it and everyone is wringing their hands that we paid too much.

    Comment by TR — July 30, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

  61. I’m not wild about this deal, but I don’t hate it like Gleeman. Partly because I was increasingly believing that we were putting too high a value on Ramos, both in terms of his ability/ceiling as a player and more importantly his value as a tradeable asset.

    It seemed increasingly likely that other MLB clubs saw Ramos as a marginal starter, not the high-level player we thought he’d be at the start of the year. we saw this in our attempts to get starting pitching using him as a trade asset: teams wanted another one of our best prospects plus pitching to get anything done.

    Now, I tend to agree that paying much for relief pitching is generally a bad idea, and the Twins experience in this area should be telling. But this team has the ability to get to the post-season and do something while there, and if the bullpen is a mess, it’s not going to happen. I’m not sure rolling the dice a bit to try and make it happen this year is a poor idea, especially since this hardly cripples us as a franchise.

    we’ll see. I don’t think it’s great, but I think it’s a move that will help this year, gives some roster flexibility for next season, and doesn’t wreck anything long-term (which is what giving up someone like Hicks would be, IMHO).

    Comment by Josh — July 30, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  62. Jake,

    Ramos was rated the #58 prospect in baseball by Baseball America, so clearly his perceived value is not just being touted locally. Also, the fact that Ramos was not going to contribute this year (or any) is not the point that people against the trade are making. Everyone realizes this, but the point is the Twins overpaid. It’s as if people are thinking we just had to get rid of Ramos at the first chance. Bullpen help could have been acquired after the deadline at a much cheaper price, and Ramos could have had the chance to improve next year and reestablish his full value.

    Capps will undoubtedly help the pen, but he’s not elite and we paid the Nats like he is.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 12:54 pm

  63. “But the fact of the matter is that this is a move that could help them win the World Series this year.”

    Awwwww :)

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  64. Nice summary Aaron. I’ve heard so many people defending this trade that I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    Comment by Twins Geek — July 30, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  65. Here’s the thing… there’s no basis for assuming the flawed save stat mattered at all to the Twins in making this trade. That’s empty speculation that isn’t based in reality. The reality is the Twins traded from a position of strength (catcher) for a position of weakness (relief pitching). We upgraded from our worst reliever to a very good reliever. The save stat has no relevance in that at all.

    Gleeman does a lot of speculation in this article. He didn’t do any investigation. He hasn’t cited a source that says the Twins did this because they wanted someone with saves. He hasn’t cited any articles where that’s been indicated. He just makes up a rational for the trade and then presents it like its the truth. His analysis is on, but only if his assumptions are correct. There’s no reason to think his assumptions are right, and there’s no basis for his assertion that the Twins made this deal because of the save stat.

    Comment by Matt — July 30, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  66. Quantitative analysis (i.e. sabremetrics) is preceise only in a vacuum

    - It does NOT take into consideration the supply and demand economics of players and required positions (Twins needed SP and bullpen help, both of which are in high demand in a thin pool of players this year)

    - It does NOT take into consideration players ahead (blocking) or behind (pushing) in an organization

    - It does NOT take into consideration a variety of other factors

    The Twins heading into the trade deadline were worried about SP, bullpen, and 3b (most of which were pointed out in this blog)…Valencia and a healthy Casilla helped ease the concerns about acquiring another infielder. The Twins were aggressive in the SP market (or so we are told). It is not shocking that Seattle nor the Diamondbacks were high on Ramos as much as the public thinks, otherwise Lee would be anchoring a Twins rotation.

    If we look at the stats when the Delmon trade went down, Tampa is the beneficiary STATISTIC wise so far. If we rewind the clock, everyone needs to keep in mind, we had OF holes to fill (Shanon Stewart was gone and Lew Ford was NOT going to cut it). The Twins had NOTHING in the cupboard in terms of position player prospects ready at AAA. We did have a MASSIVE supply of crappy infielders and pitchers. We dealt from an economic position of strength to address an economic position of weakness.

    I like the Capps trade…dont love it, but like it. It helps us this year, and gets us insurance next year.

    Comment by db — July 30, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  67. I wonder what the price for Chad Qualls was. I would rate him as equal to Capps (despite an ugly current ERA), and he may have been much cheaper to acquire.

    Comment by itch — July 30, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  68. Twins starters: 10th in ERA and OPS allowed. Twins’ bullpen: 1st in ERA, and 5th in OPS allowed. How is the bullpen a weakness that needs to be addressed? (all stats AL only). Capps will cost 5-7MM next year (thanks to arbitration also over valuing saves as a unit of measure of value). I’m not sure how that is cheap, as some have implied. @Matt: the Twins (BS specifically) has cited his “veteran experience” as a closer. I suppose AG could quote all the articles freely available on the STrib….@Scott, thank you for finding the Ramos ranking by the most acclaimed organization in publicly ranking prospects. 58th best prospect at the beginning of the year, and they turned him into a medium quality relief pitcher. Ouch.

    Comment by mike wants wins — July 30, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  69. “I have a lot of faith in the Twins scouts. Do I trust them more than the evaluation of a sabermetrician? No comment.”

    I am not sure exactly where that faith comes from. On the decisions where the resident sabermetrician has disagreed with the scouts, I would say the sabermetrician has a better track record.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — July 30, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  70. I wouldn’t say that Gleeman was overwhelmingly positive about the Pierzynski trade, but this is far from negative analysis (taken from here: http://aarongleeman.com/2003_11_16_baseballblog_archive.html)

    “Ultimately, I don’t think there is really any way for the Pierzynski-trade to be viewed as a bad one. At worst, they lost one good year from Pierzynski, who was almost certainly a goner after next year anyway. I would be willing to bet just about anything that Joe Mauer will not be better than Pierzynski offensively next year, but I still think Mauer will be a productive major league catcher. And in exchange for that drop-off, the Twins got three valuable pitchers and saved a couple million bucks.

    Of course, there is a big difference between not being a “bad” trade and being a “good” one. I think whether or not this deal ends up being a good one hinges on either Bonser or Liriano becoming a solid major league pitcher. As for the odds of that? Who knows. It’s tough playing Miss Cleo with pitching prospects, especially ones with declining K-rates and shoulder problems. “

    Comment by Jeremy — July 30, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  71. That was, of course, in response to the question as to whether or not he’s liked ANY trade.

    Comment by Jeremy — July 30, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  72. I can tell you with certainty that a particularly intelligent front office loved Ramos heading into this season, and a poor half season in AAA as a 22 year old does not bridge the gap b/t what that team would have given up to get him and what the Twins just received, which is a moderately effective NL reliever who now has to face AL lineups. This is a complete abortion – you do not trade one of the top 2-3 prospects in your system for Matt F’ing Capps, regardless of the competitive situation of your team – Matt F’ing Capps is not a difference maker.

    Comment by thegeneral13 — July 30, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

  73. One thing is clear, it being Friday. Wilson Ramos does not look as good in a bathing suit as Mila Kunis, and Matt Capps does not sing as well as Otis Redding.

    Comment by Mike Green — July 30, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

  74. Here’s the dirty truth: If the Twins even occasionally produced relievers with fastballs in the mid-90′s through their farm system, the idea of a Matt Capps on your team wouldn’t be as exotic. Just think about the number of hardthrowing closer candidates all over baseball (on good teams and bad teams) that have appeared in the past two years: Marmol, Neftali Feliz, Storen, Bard, Chris Perez, John Axford, Joaquin Benoit, and the list goes on and on and on. Except for Jesse Crain, the Twins haven’t had ANYBODY like that in the past decade. All we produce is middle-rotation starters and guys with quirky deliveries (Neshek and Slama). I only point this out because if people realized how easy it is to generate a Matt Capps-type reliever from within, they wouldn’t be so motivated to TRADE for him.

    Comment by Jeff H — July 30, 2010 @ 3:36 pm

  75. Thank you, Matt. It’s about time somebody pointed out that this whole “article” is based on speculation.

    That said, I like the move. Remember what happened last time Guerrier was overworked? I believe the Twins didn’t win the division…this move gives them flexibility to avoid overuse.

    Did they give up too much for a reliever? I don’t know. Bullpens are far more important than they used to be.

    Comment by Shaitan — July 30, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  76. The “numbers” aren’t based on speculation. The ugliness of them is staring you right in the face.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

  77. Can you imagine being sellers in this market? Selling Delmon during his fluke half season with the market as bare as it is would bring huge returns. Thome would have been a great sell off piece to an AL East team as well. They may have even been able to get stuff back for getting out from underneath Cuddyer’s terrible contract and start fixing the smoldering remains of their pitching staff.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 4:47 pm

  78. Matt-

    I suspect that Aaron’s “speculation” as to the reasoning of the Twins’ front office is based, not only on comments made to the press, but on the simple fact that there is nothing noteworthy about Capp’s numbers except his saves. It can’t be that the Bill Smith traded for Capp in view of his great peripherals, because Capp doesn’t have them. So unless you think that the Twins must have evaluated Capp using some kind of super secret metrics (and, obviously, you could justify literally any trade this way), it seems likely that Capp’s role as a closer was decisive here.

    Comment by Andy — July 30, 2010 @ 4:58 pm

  79. Gendo –

    You’re right, the numbers aren’t speculation. That was exactly my point before… the numbers show a good reliever. Any talk about saves being the reason for the trade is speculation.

    Andy -

    What comments to the press? I’ve read the coverage. There aren’t any quotes from the front office about saves or anything. I disagree that there’s nothing noteworthy about Capp’s numbers. To quote Gleeman, “Capps is a good, solid late-inning reliever. He bounced back nicely in Washington with a 2.74 ERA and 38-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 46 innings and has a 3.50 ERA in 317 career innings.” It’s after that line that Gleeman simply asserts that the Twins wouldn’t have done this if he hadn’t had a bunch of saves. That’s just a bald assertion with no support. It’s poor writing in general, and irresponsible coverage for someone that a lot of people rely on for meaningful analysis. I’ve got no problem with Gleeman being critical of moves the Twins make. I think he’s generally pretty even-handed and he does a good job of reevaluating and making corrections to his analysis. But this doesn’t fall under that category. This is unsupported speculation.

    Comment by Matt — July 30, 2010 @ 5:15 pm

  80. Based on those numbers I don’t see how you could reach any other conclusion. The numbers provided don’t justify the pieces they sent to acquire Capps.

    So it’s either SAVES or they value good ‘ol fashioned scoutin’ over numbers.

    I’m really not sure which is more troubling.

    Either one leads to early golfing.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 5:19 pm

  81. I’d feel bad about this trade but I’m still waiting for BJ Garbe, Ryan Mills, David McCarty, Adam Johnson, Matt Moses, and Willie Banks to break through with the big club…wait, what?

    Comment by Abe — July 30, 2010 @ 5:23 pm

  82. A trade is no excuse to not have a Link-O-Rama!!!

    Comment by ChrisChris — July 30, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

  83. Abe you’re confusing two concepts there quite intentionally I think! The point is not that they should have held onto Ramos indefinitely, but that as a prospect his potential has value for which the Twins got poor return on.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  84. Here’s the full quote:

    “This makes us a better club,” Twins general manager Bill Smith said. “Matt is a veteran closer, a veteran reliever and he’s going to be a very good fit for this club. We’ve had an interest in Matt Capps for a long time, and this was a good opportunity for us to acquire him. It gives us a better chance to win the division and hopefully advance to the World Series.”

    Clearly they view him as a closer first and a reliever second. What is the first statistic mentioned when discussing closers? The save. Don’t tell me this wasn’t a deciding factor in this deal. But whether Smith said that or not, there’s plenty of proof that the Twins’ organization in general has been extremely slow to accept any form of sabermetrics.

    Comment by Scott — July 30, 2010 @ 6:53 pm

  85. I don’t have any problem with this trade. It’s better than the status quo. It adds some depth to a bullpen that needed it.

    Comment by duane — July 30, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

  86. Change for its own sake is never a good thing.

    Resuming my futile pining for Kim Ng.

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

  87. And by the way for anyone that wonders how Aaron could reach the conclusion that Bill favors the vaunted SAVE as his go to statistic need I remind you of this choice Bill Smith quote:

    “Who do you want, a guy who’s 10-15 with a 2.80 ERA or a guy who’s 16-8 with a 7.00 ERA? I’ll take the 16-8.

    ugh

    Comment by Gendo — July 30, 2010 @ 11:22 pm

  88. Gendo- only because in that case, his team would be winning. He’s not referring to the pitcher only. He’s talking at the end of the year would you have say Slowey for example sake be such and such. In which case 16-8 would be better be cause the Twins would win. He’s not comparing two different pitchers and saying he wants the second case.

    Comment by junkie — July 30, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  89. One thing people are forgetting is that this gives us much more flexibility in the bullpen this offseason. With our three best relievers this year being free agents. Capps will be a must less expensive option than signing one of those three to fill the role he is filling now.

    I mean now we can let Guerrier walk and pick up two picks, instead of feeling like we needed to resign our set up man.

    So maybe this trade is more like two first rounders and capps and more cap space for ramos and testa. Would you do that trade?

    Comment by junkie — July 30, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

  90. Capps is going to get a huge dumb arbitration number. The idea that he’s going to be cheap is false.

    This fanbase is never going to hold this organization accountable for its backwards way of thinking. They’re stuck in the stone ages of player evaluation and they’ll continue to be victimized by teams that actually have full time statisticians (you know all the rest of them).

    Comment by Gendo — July 31, 2010 @ 1:43 am

  91. Twins are supposedly going after former wife beater Brett Myers now. So you this is a great trade folks should get to work on posts minimizing him punching his wife.

    Comment by Gendo — July 31, 2010 @ 3:28 am

  92. Everyone against this trade is focusing on only one valuation metric, which is a mathematically-driven Sabermetric-type metric that is often valid, but not appropriate in all circumstances. Further, this group suggests that the front office and trade defenders are focusing on another metric, saves, which it considers invalid. While the opponents may be right that the saves metric is not a good way to measure the value of a pitcher, they are wrong to assume that is the key measure supporting the trade. There is a more basic measure – market value.

    Think of it this way. The Twins put Wilson Ramos on MLB eBay, with an auction closing July 29. Price: “whatever best helps us win this year.” All other teams could bid, and the highest bid was Matt Capps.

    You can argue all day about generally worthwhile stats like OPS and FIP and how they translates into WAR and wins in 2013, but the fact of the matter is that the market, with full knowledge of all of Wilson Ramos’ potential and weaknesses, just decided that his value was no greater than that of Matt Capps, and the Twins decided that, of all the bids for Wilson Ramos, Matt Capps gave them the best chance to win this year.

    Comment by MNGC — July 31, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  93. Capps already makes more than any Twin reliever not named Nathan. He’ll get a big raise in arbitration. He won’t be cheaper than Crain, Guerrier or anyone else not named Nathan.

    Comment by mike wants wins — July 31, 2010 @ 10:31 am

  94. MNGC,

    But you’re making it sound like the Twins HAD to deal Ramos this year. The argument for the trade is so weak that the supporters are creating this fallacy that we were required to trade Ramos by this year’s deadline. If that is something the Twins front office actually set as a goal, then the trade should be ripped even more as they held the gun to their own head.

    What was wrong with allowing Ramos to regain his value next season rather than selling low on him? I like what the Twins got in the trade, but not at that cost.

    Comment by Scott — July 31, 2010 @ 11:06 am

  95. “Can you imagine being sellers in this market? Selling Delmon during his fluke half season with the market as bare as it is would bring huge returns. Thome would have been a great sell off piece to an AL East team as well. They may have even been able to get stuff back for getting out from underneath Cuddyer’s terrible contract and start fixing the smoldering remains of their pitching staff.”

    This is the exact problem that frustrates me so much about the small market minded Twins fans. Yes, you have to build for the future, but why on God’s green earth would you trade away players that are helping you win games in a year where a championship is possible? That’s ludicrous. Sure, you’re infatuated with the upside of a certain player we could obtain for Young or Thome, but who’s to say they won’t bust like Young did for a little while??? It’s all stupid speculation and an obsession with potential. I’m taking current production over future potential in a year where the World Series is obtainable any and every day of the week. And… Smoldering remains of the pitching staff…. If you’re harping on SABR numbers you should at least know that other than Blackburn and occasionally Slowey the Twins’ rotation has been phenomenal this year, just with bad luck in many instances.

    As far as Ramos… I clearly didn’t get my point across above. The problem I see here is that Ramos’ value depreciated simply because he was blocked. Knowing that the Twins were not going to be having much of a need for him in the foreseeable future, teams interested in Ramos drove down his value despite his overall talent and potential demanding a higher level of value. Yes, Ramos was a steep price for Capps, but we have little need for Ramos and acquiring a more valuable player may have never happened with just Ramos involved (as evidenced by the Lee trade talks).

    Comment by jacksonattack — July 31, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

  96. the Dodgers get Lilly for Blake Dewitt? Freaking Blake Dewitt! Lilly projects as a type A free agent so all the Dodgers need to do if offer Lilly arbitration (which he won’t accept) and they get 2 1st round picks as compensation. The Twins couldn’t beat this deal?

    Comment by Jesse — July 31, 2010 @ 1:17 pm

  97. This was a great thread to read. Lotsa fun. A couple things:

    It was a responder to my post that said “give up,” not me.

    I just think that the Twins are primarily a regular season entertainment, not a World Series winning one. I am comfortable with that, the stats on that being all it is bear it out. I just don’t know why other people are not comfortable with that. I just think it’s weird when people go from that to, say, “World Series champion” or “win it this year.” When you hear stuff like that, you know emotion is entering the equation, and this blog has moved from being about fun stat-heads and fantasy front office to talk radio.

    Sure, there are playoff series upsets, they happen every year. And they are fun. But there is almost never a team in history that is a statistical underdog (particularly starting pitching) to overcome those odds through three rounds of playoffs. So using LAD over the cards in one round, or wild-card teams that won it all when their playoff starters and relievers had better stats than their opponents isn’t addressing this. It is OK to enjoy baseball anyway.

    I like mike’s and gendo’s comments.

    As for the save stat, AG is correct in implying that the Twins, especially in their use of the media, is counting on this to sell this trade. But don’t blame AG, he has been pretty fair about compiling the stats to let them speak for themselves. The Twins gave up a lot in order to get someone now, for reasons unknown. Because on the face of it, it isn’t a good deal. That’s where AG stopped, rightfully. By doing so, he is asking us to do the speculating.

    Those stories would be something like the decline of Geurrier under workload, loss of confidence in Rauch, unreported nagging injuries, losing people next year, etc. Because the fact remains the Twins didn’t have to get rid of Ramos right now, and may have been more valuable trade commodity in September, or next year sometime.

    If Rodriguez doesn’t want to get to 600 home runs, there’s always Thome.

    Comment by brian — July 31, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  98. MLB.com analysis says Twins panicked. “Balked” at giving up Ramos for Lee, but give him up for Capps. Truly boneheaded.

    Comment by sugarknob — July 31, 2010 @ 8:13 pm

  99. pretty sure they wanted 2 high-level prospects from us. it would have been Ramos AND someone like Hicks or Gibson. I would Balk at that too…

    Comment by msmatt — August 1, 2010 @ 8:10 am

  100. Matt Capps is likely a bigger contributor to the Twins over the next couple of years…at pretty big $$$. Ultimately, Capps may be a better player than Ramos. But that is hardly a way to evaluate a deal. Prospects like Ramos are keys to acquiring top performers, of which Capps isn’t one.

    In the middle of next season, when Ramos is killing AAA at Rochester, his value is immense and gets you next year’s Cliff Lee. You do not deal a prospect like Ramos for a non-special arm or bat simply because he will at some point command that price. It’s simple game theory, and Bill Smith has no clue about it, apparently.

    Basically, a chip that would eventually yield something big was thrown away, because the likes of Matt Capps can be gotten for a lot less. Rene Tosoni might not have gotten Matt Capps from Washington, but he could have brought his clone from some other team, and that’s why this is a putrid deal.

    Comment by Twinstalker — August 1, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  101. Big deal if BA had Ramos ranked at #58 overall. That’s not a valid argument for his determining his value.

    BA is the same entity that had Blackburn as the #1 prospect in the organization (#56 overall) back in 2008 and look where he’s at now, just saying.

    Comment by Minnesota Masher — August 1, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  102. Scott,

    Kind of late to reply now, but Ramos was rated #58 by baseball America before his poor AAA run that led right into our trading him.

    Also, and this is the key to this, other teams don’t scout based on what baseball America says about a player. The Twins have already discovered in other trade talks that Ramos wasn’t seen as no #58 player. If he was perceived as such outside of Minnesota and your ranking of choice, then it wouldn’t have been so hard to trade him.

    Baseball America may be the reason we were so high on him.

    Comment by Jake — August 2, 2010 @ 7:48 am

  103. Gardy doesn’t know how to manage. The management doesn’t know how to evaluate talent or trade for value. In fact, it is a sabremetric fact that this team has only had 8 generally good seasons in a row despite being a low payroll team because of luck and luck alone.

    Comment by Jake — August 2, 2010 @ 7:58 am

  104. Yes. No one commented for a year! This is the tombstone post of Bill Smith.

    Comment by brian — September 23, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

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