Trading Graterol Revealed That We Are Still Haunted by the Ghost of Matt Capps
Image courtesy of © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY SportsAs the saga of Kenta Maeda making his way to Minnesota unfolded one name got discussed and analyzed a lot. To the point where if Brusdar Graterol was a fine cut of steak he would have looked like a lump of hamburger in the end. One thought came to my mind as I read tweets, comments, and the like surrounding the trade...are we still haunted by Matt Capps?
If you remember back to the summer of 2010 the Twins felt the need to trade for then “proven closer” Matt Capps and did so by sending off one of their top prospects of the time, catcher Wilson Ramos. Ramos was ultimately blocked by Joe Mauer but what still seems to be the critique of that trade is not necessarily that he was traded. It is that he was traded for a relief pitcher.
Capps did finish 23 games for the Twins in 2010 with a 2.00 ERA and earned 16 saves over 27.0 innings pitched. Capps did help lead the Twins into the playoffs. No matter how good Capps performed, short of a World Series ring there was a high likelihood that fans would wonder if Ramos could have been packaged to bring Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, or another top name to position the Twins even better for the playoffs and beyond.
Is it this trade that has created a group that has become lovingly been referred to as the “Prospect Protectors?" The old regime of the front office had some clunkers of trades and it seems those of us who were around for those days may have become a bit gun shy of seeing trades made because of what could be with our prospects. The hard thing is there have been several missed trades that are quickly available in our memories more than ones that have been successful.
Denard Span for Alex Meyer didn’t end up working out. We finally in 2019 saw the first true fruits of Ben Revere for Trevor May and Vance Worley. The Twins were left standing with nothing after trading away Johan Santana and botched trying to turn Carlos Gomez into J.J. Hardy and eventually Jim Hoey. All of that and Capps for Ramos still likely tops the list for memorability.
As painful as the memory of that trade is, we must remember that was the previous front office regime. There were still some good trades when it comes to the Terry Ryan-influenced front office so we don’t want to let the bad ones completely scar our memory of that regime. Where we can try and exorcise the ghost of the Matt Capps trade is acknowledging that the team is under the leadership of a different regime. And this front office is already proving to have a bit of a knack for pulling together some smart moves.
We have seen success already from the Jake Odorizzi trade. The sell-off of veterans like Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar has helped build up the farm system into a strength that can be dealt from. Specifically without Jhoan Duran, trading Graterol may have been a full no-go.
Hopefully acquiring Maeda by trading Graterol will help us become more comfortable with Falvey and Levine’s ability to make this sort of move. I say hopefully because there is a good chance more trades will need to come due to the volume of prospects the Twins will need to make decisions on soon.
Hopefully we are no longer haunted by the ghosts of Matt Capps. Do we dare start trying to work on the ghost of David Ortiz’s release yet?
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