La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Matt Capps is a Twin

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 29, 2010 - 10:11 PM

BREAKING NEWS: The Twins have agreed to a dea with the Washington Nations in which the Twins send catcher Wilson Ramos to the Nats for All-Star closer Matt Capps.

Capps will become the Twins' closer, with Jon Rauch moving to a set up role.

A source with knowledge of negotiations confirmed the deal

The evening began with a text message from Rochester that catcher Wilson Ramos was pulled before tonight's game against Gwinnett Co. Update: Joe C. heard that Rochester changed its lineup three times tonight and the Ramos switch wasn't announced until after the game started.

According to a source with knowledge of the Nationals situation, the Twins, Yankees, White Sox and Braves are all in on the All-Star closer.

The move makes sense for the Twins. Brian Duensing is now in the starting rotation and they need to shore up the bullpen. It's likely that Capps would close while Jon Rauch moves back to a set up role. I mean it would be hard for me to see Capps become a set up guy after being named an All-Star as a closer.

My take: The Twins have liked Capps for a few years. I thought he would be a really good set up guy and possibly a good closer. He helps the Twins now.

I think Washington did well with this deal. After Pudge Rodriguez, the Nats were hurting in the catching department. Ramos can learn from Pudge.

It helps the Twins now and the Nats down the road. The question is if the Twins gave up too much. Is this a Jeff Bagwell moment? Would the Twins had been better served using Ramos down the road to nab a quality starter?

Another thing to consider is that Ramos has broken down in each of the last two seasons. Trend?


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