Updated at 12:20 a.m.
The Nationals have traded closer Matt Capps to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for 22-year-old catcher Wilson Ramos and minor-league left-hander Joe Testa.
Ramos is a highly touted catcher who was rated by Baseball America as the Twins' second-best prospect and baseball's 58th-best prospect entering the season and was among the players being discussed when Minnesota was trying to acquire pitcher Cliff Lee from the Mariners. A native of Venezuela, he is a career .284 hitter in parts of five minor-league seasons who appeared in eight big-league games earlier this season and went 8-for-27 with three doubles. He'll report to Class AAA Syracuse but figures to be a strong candidate for a September call-up.
Testa, a 24-year-old reliever, owns a career 3.33 ERA in three minor-league seasons. In 36 games between Class A and Class AA this year, he's a combined 2-5 with a 5.50 ERA. He'll report to Class A Potomac.
Capps' departure comes after the 26-year-old resurrected his career to earn 26 saves and an All-Star berth after getting nontendered by the Pirates in December. The Nationals signed him later that month to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. He would still have been under their control in 2011 but stands to earn a sizable raise.
As part of the deal, the Nationals sent the Twins $500,000 to help cover the remainder of Capps' prorated salary.
In Minnesota, Capps will be used as closer, with Jon Rauch (a former National himself) sliding back into a setup role.
The Nationals already have a closer-in-waiting in Drew Storen, though manager Jim Riggleman said tonight he won't thrust the rookie into that role full-time right off the bat. Storen, along with Tyler Clippard and Joel Peralta, will get shots at closing as Riggleman uses his "hot hand" for the remainder of the season.