Twins acquire closer Matt Capps

The Twins have acquired
closer Matt Capps and cash from the Nationals in exchange for catching
prospect Wilson Ramos and left-handed pitching prospect Joe Testa.

Capps,
26, has 26 saves in 30 opportunities and a 2.74 ERA in 47 games for the Nationals this season. He
has around $1.3 million remaining of his $3.5 million salary and will
be under the Twins control for 2011 as an arbitration-eligible player.

The
deal helps to bolster the Twins’ bullpen, which recently lost one of
its late-inning options when Brian Duensing was moved into the rotation.
Capps will fill the role of closer. Manager Ron Gardenhire already called Jon
Rauch and told him of his move back into a set-up role. Rauch said he just wants to help the team win.

Ramos, who had been labeled as the
Twins’ No. 2 prospect, was batting .241 with five home runs and 30 RBIs
for Triple-A Rochester this season. Ramos had been considered to be the
Twins’ best trade chip since Spring Training when the club signed Joe
Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million extension. Ramos was a late scratch
from Rochester’s lineup on Thursday night, fueling further speculation
that a trade was in the works.

Testa was signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent in 2008. He began this season at Double-A New Britain and went 1-4 with an 8.25 ERA in 21 games for the Rock Cats. He was moved to Class A Fort Myers,and went 1-1 with a 3.30 ERA in 15 games for the Miracle.

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