Nationals Acquire Top Catching Prospect Wilson Ramos from Twins in Three-Player Trade

Nationals Also Acquire Lefthander Joe Testa, Send Matt Capps to Minnesota

The Washington Nationals tonight acquired catcher Wilson Ramos and left-handed pitcher Joe Testa from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for right-handed closer Matt Capps and cash considerations. The Nationals then optioned Ramos to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League and assigned Testa to Potomac of the Single-A Carolina League. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcements.

Regarded as one of baseball’s top prospects, the Venezuela-born Ramos entered 2010 rated as the best power hitter, the best defensive catcher and the Twins’ No. 2 prospect according to industry-insider Baseball America. Entering the 2009 season, BA listed Ramos as Minnesota’s third-ranked prospect.

The 22 year-old Ramos was batting .241 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 30 RBI in 71 games with Rochester of the Triple-A International League at the time of the trade. Last season, Ramos’ first at the Double-A level, he paced all Twins full-season farmhands in batting average (.317), threw out 42 percent of would-be basestealers and was subsequently named the Eastern League’s No. 8 prospect.

Ramos--who stands 6-foot-0, 220 lbs.--made his big league debut with Minnesota in May and batted .296 (8-for-26) with three doubles and one RBI in seven games.

Ramos is a career .281 hitter (429-for-1527) with 88 doubles, 37 home runs and 226 RBI in 414 minor-league games spanning six seasons. He signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent on July 7, 2004.

Testa, 24, was 1-1 with one save and a 3.30 ERA in 15 appearances with Ft. Myers of the Single-A Florida State League upon being acquired by Washington. Including a stint in the Double-A Eastern League earlier this season, Testa fanned 8.3 batters per 9.0 innings pitched in 36 appearances in the Twins’ system.

Testa earned Single-A Midwest League All-Star status last season as he posted a .161 batting average against and 12.4 strikeouts per 9.0 innings in 25 appearances with Beloit. He signed with the Twins as a non-drafted free agent, July 1, 2008, after a collegiate career at Wagner (NY) College.

Capps went 3-3 with 26 saves and a 2.74 ERA in 47 appearances for Washington. The 26 year-old is 22-22 with 29 holds, 93 saves and a 3.48 ERA in 318 career appearances for Washington (2010) and Pittsburgh (2005-09).