Friday, April 15, 2011

Rethinking the Ramos-Capps trade

Obviously, with Joe Mauer on the disabled list, Twins have to wonder about their catching depth going forward. They let Jose Morales and Wilson Ramos go in the past 10 months, and now we are left to wonder what the Twins endgame ever was.
At the time of the trade, I was all for it. Ramos was an elite prospect that didn't appear to have a spot in the lineup in the near or mid future for the Twins. The team also had Morales who was a more than capable backup with a decent enough bat. As it turned out, the asking price for relievers was very high, and was an area of need going forward, so trading Ramos for Capps wasn't a terrible decision in my book.
That said, it was always acknowledged that Mauer will one day have to change positions, perhaps sooner than anyone intended. Now the Twins only have Drew Butera and a logjam at the other defensively non-strenuous positions, like DH, first base and right field. I know hind sight is 20/20 but perhaps there should have been enough foresight from supporters (myself included) to realize there needed to be a backup plan. I thought, I suppose, it would be Morales.
If we had a time machine, would we go back and undo the Ramos for Capps deal? Maybe. Maybe not. Ramos was going to be an elite catcher, and still will be, so his time in Minnesota would eventually be limited because of his eventual cost. IF anything, it was Morales that I still wish was in town as an offensive counterbalance to Drew Butera's defense. Furthermore, another trade would likely benefit the Twins in the short term (if there was someone capable of being an every day catcher on the roster), perhaps moving Jason Kubel and/or Michael Cuddyer for pitching, and introducing Mauer to right field. He can't be nearly as painful out there  as Kubel. This frees up right fielf for the arrival of Aaron Hicks or Ben Revere as well, because Jim Thome is likely in his last season in Minnesota, and Mauer could become a regular designated hitter, though it would be a shame to lose his athleticism on a daily basis.
But as it is, Ramos is gone, Capps is here for better or worse, and we are left to worry about Mauer's future as a catcher.

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