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Friday, July 30, 2010

On Capps and Trades and Stuff

I hate the Matt Capps trade. Hate it. Hate it.

Not the actual trade. I understand the way the game is today and that this move pretty much had to be made. Seems like the Nats got more out of it than they had a right to expect. I'm not going to jump on the Rizzo gushfest - I think the words Debbi Taylor used on pregame were "worked his magic again" - because there's been enough of that already. I'm told no kneepads are available anywhere in the D.C. area after everyone bowed to his greatness in prying Wilson Ramos from the Twins (a guy so good he's going straight to AAA instead of to the bigs).

What I hate is that the Nats are always in this position and that the game has "evolved" to the point that this crap happens every year with bad teams. Baseball, one of my colleagues noted on, has become a game of lower-echelon teams moving their top players in exhange for lottery picks.

Wilson Ramos may go on to be the next Pudge Rodriguez. Or maybe not. Who knows? I can't think of any prospects the Nats have gained in deals over the years who have made any kind of major impact. Matt Chico? A serviceable AAAA pitcher. Garrett Mock? How about no? Shairon Martis? Looked like it for a while but that was just a mirage. I'm sure I'm missing someone and would love to know I'm wrong. You CAN get a star in the future by giving one up now! Hey, the Rangers got Elvis Andrus, the Cardinals got Adam Wainwright (think the Braves would like either one of them back?) so it can happen. When will it happen to the Nats?

When will it happen that the faithful among us don't have to worry about it every single year? When will the Nats be buyers? I remember the last day of my New York vacation in 2006, trying to find a TV so I could watch the ticket and see if Soriano had been traded. Every damn year, it's a crapshot as to what the team will look like after Aug. 1 and I hate, hate, hate that. Hate it.

I have a sinking feeling I'll see Dunn soon and it won't be in D.C. I have tickets to the White Sox game on Sunday. Maybe I'll see his first AL home run.

If Dunn goes, I'm Dunn. Why bring in good players - and yes, he's a good player despite his flaws - only to move them quickly becuase the rest of the team isn't good enough? How about trying to make the rest of YOUR team good enough NOW?

Back to Capps, yeah, good deal if you have to move him. Do you really have to move him? He's 26 and proven to be pretty darn good. The more I think about it, the more his All-Star spot was legit. So you have to pay the man a little. That's the way it works. Would it suck so much to go into 2011 with a proven closer who makes a lot and some very good setup people around him? You have this incredible rotation about to happen - or so we're told a lot - so why not have a guy like Capps around to save all those victories they're going to compile?

Every year, we think this team is 2-3 years away. Best guess now is they're still 2-3 years away. I'm going to stick my neck out and say we'll be saying next year they're 2-3 years away.

Or maybe YOU'LL be saying it next year. I'm about done.


bdrube said...

The Nats have 2-3 year plans like the Soviets used to have five year plans (bada-BOOM). Particularly distressing is that at the end of this NEXT 2-3 year plan, Zimmerman will be in his free agency year. Think he'll want to stick around if they are still a 65-70 win team by then? I know I wouldn't if I were him.

Nate said...

If there were such a thing as a proven closer (outside of Yankee Stadium) I might agree with you. Capps put up a 5.80 ERA last season. Chad Cordero was a proven closer right up until he wasn't. Mike MacDougal saved 20 games he had no business saving. It's not a crapshoot, but it's no science either.

Aussie Gus said...

Don't give in Mike! Yes, you need a good closer, and Capps is a good closer, but look how easy we got him this year. Guys like him will always be around, either via trade or FA, plus we do have Storen remember.

I am no amateur shrink, but could the real reason for your hurt around this trade be because of what it means for your man crush, the other Jesus?

Feel Wood said...

I can't think of any prospects the Nats have gained in deals over the years who have made any kind of major impact.

These don't exactly qualify as prospects obtained by dealing stars, but Tyler Clippard was obtained in trade for Jonathan Albaladejo, Emilio Bonifacio was obtained by trading Jon Rauch and then flipped for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham. Clippard, Olsen and Hammer have had some impact, but were little known when first obtained.

Rizzo didn't deal Capps just for the sake of dealing Capps. He dealt from a position of strength (the bullpen) in order to strengthen an area of weakness (catcher). That's the smart thing to do. It so happened that the Twins wanted Capps - that's what instigated this. Rizzo wasn't shopping Capps, but when presented with interest in acquiring him Rizzo did not yield until he got the catcher he wanted.

By the same token, Rizzo will not be flipping Dunn for prospects. Any other team that wants Dunn is surely going to have to give up a starting position player and pitching. Rizzo said again today he's not going to yield on his high price for Dunn. I doubt any other team will want to pay it, but if perhaps some team does the return will be more than worth it.

BinM said...

Mike: It's ok to be bothered by this trade, but keeping Capps wasn't going to get this team to the post-season in 2010, and would have spent his 'value'. Getting Ramos from the Twins covers the problems w/Flores, and gets the team a solid defensive CA for the next 5 years.

Nattydread said...

So whats your take on the Guzman trade?

MikeHarris said...

Different deal with Guzman - older player, skills declining, contract up. Capps can be seen as a guy who will get better. Guzman not so much. But some have argued, with some validity, that Capps' value will never be higher.

Capps is 26, Guzman is in his 30s. You can see Capps being part of a team when it is finally good. Guzman not so much, again.