The Nationals traded reliever Matt Capps to the Twins for catcher Wilson Ramos and pitcher Joe Testa. This one makes sense for both teams, with Minnesota acquiring some quality bullpen reinforcement in exchange for a catcher and pitcher surplus to their needs.
Wilson Ramos, C: Ramos turns 23 in August, and the Venezuelan should be ready to help in the majors soon. His defense is very strong; heís thrown out 50% of runners this year and has made excellent progress with his footwork, pitching blocking, and game calling. His hitting is inconsistent; at times he is a significant power threat and he entered 2010 with a career .290 average in the minors, but poor strike zone judgment helped result in an unimpressive .241/.280/.345 line this year for Triple-A Rochester. The Twins didnít have room for him due to Joe Mauer, and while Ramos would have made a great backup, it is a fair thing for him that heíll have a clear shot at regular playing time now. Whether he seizes it or not will depend on how his bat develops.
Joe Testa, LHP: An undrafted free agent signed out of Wagner in 2008, Testa has a decent arm with an 88-90 MPH fastball and a workable slider. He was pitching poorly this year for Double-A New Britain, with a 8.25 ERA and a 21:16 K:BB in 24 innings, undone by command problems. He is basically an organizational roster filler at this point, although if his command sharpens he could end up as a back-end bullpen spare part.
The Diamondbacks trade Edwin Jackson to the White Sox for Dan Hudson and David Holmberg. I have to admit, while I understand the White Sox wanting to have a ďveteran starterĒ for the stretch run, I donít really like this trade, given that Iím very high on Hudson and Jackson doesnít exactly have a consistent track record.
David Holmberg, LHP: A second round pick in 2009 from high school in Clearwater, Florida, the 19-year-old Holmberg has a 4.46 ERA with a 29:9 K:BB in 40 innings for Great Falls in the Pioneer League this year, with 52 hits allowed. His fastball is mediocre at 86-89 MPH, but both his curveball and changeup are highly promising, and he throws strikes. There is a chance he could throw harder in time, although some scouts say his body is already maxed out at 6-4, 225. We havenít seen him in full-season ball yet, but he has potential as a number four starter type.
Dan Hudson, RHP: A fifth-round pick in 2008 from Old Dominion, Hudson leapt from Low-A to the majors in 2009, then consolidated his progress with a nice season this year for Triple-A Charlotte, going 11-4, 3.47 with a 108:31 K:BB ratio in 93 innings. Heís made three starts with the White Sox, going 1-1, 6.32 with a 14:11 K:BB in 16 innings, 17 hits allowed. Hudson has a 90-94 MPH fastball, a strong changeup, and an adequate curveball and slider. Heís a bulldog on the mound, deceptive and durable, and I donít see why he canít be a solid inning-eating number three guy.