If you want to make Minnesota sports fans instantly angry, you … well … you have a lot of options.
But one thing you can definitely do is mention the 2010 midyear trade that brought relief pitcher Matt Capps to the Twins for catching prospect Wilson Ramos.
Capps was a PROVEN CLOSER and All-Star that year. In fairness to the Twins and Capps, he was good in 2010 — getting 16 saves with a 2.00 ERA after the trade as the Twins won the AL Central (and predictably were swept by the Yankees in the ALDS).
Ramos was deemed expendable because Joe Mauer was the franchise catcher. It was a decent theory … until various injuries and an eventual position switch left the Twins and their fans thirsty for a catcher for many years thereafter.
I bring this up because Cleveland, the team the Twins are chasing this year, just made a similar trade. Granted, the primary pitcher the Indians got in their trade with San Diego — Minnesota’s own Brad Hand! — is better than Capps. He’s a lefty, a two-time All-Star and he has swing-and-miss stuff.
But Cleveland had to part with highly touted catching prospect Francisco Mejia in the trade. Mejia, just 22, had a great season at Class AA in 2017 and has been solid at Class AAA this year. He is ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law.
Hand and fellow reliever Adam Cimber, who was also part of the deal, should help shore up Cleveland’s atrocious bullpen and get them into the playoffs, where the Indians will likely lose to a better team.
And a couple years from now? Cleveland fans might have the same level of regret that Twins fans have over Capps/Ramos.