So you had to go and make a deal, that's understandable, I mean, we were all kinda eagerly waiting to see what you would do, hopeful of maybe landing a Lee or Oswalt type but more realistically expecting a lesser pitcher like Lilly or Carmona. Imagine my surprise when I received a text from 'domedog' last night saying that you had traded away one your most valuable trade pieces AND another minor leaguer for...Matt Capps? I fancy myself a fairly rational guy and I also think I have a decent grasp on some of the more advanced stats. Just so we're clear, number of career saves is NOT, I repeat, not an advanced stat. Given what I've seen here, with you trading Ramos (and Testa) for Capps, you rational must have been something like, "Capps has a lot of saves, and he was an all-star, so he will be able to help the Twins down the stretch."
I guess my question is, you do know that every team is required to have a representative at the all-star game (I mean, even the Royals (i know right?) had a player there) and that being an all-star, especially these days, doesn't mean much right? Another question might be, you do know that 'saves' is one of the most fickle stats in baseball and that they are much more situational than substantive...right? Yet another question would be, "HOW DOES THIS TRADE IMPROVE THE TEAM?" Here's some other opinions on the matter, they're almost universally against it:
Aaron Gleeman - summarized: you paid too much for something that's not that different than what you have
Josh's Thoughts - summarized: WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
Twins Geek - summarized: general hatred of the trade broken down into 8 parts
Over The Baggy - summarized: Bill Smith is perhaps wise, but doesn't listen to his own good advice
Twins Target - summarized: a positive review of the trade, the only one I could find (didn't check the papers)
So there you have it, 80% unfavorable, 20% favorable, and that's a very brief sampling, by no means exhaustive, but I'm gonna go out on a limb on say that the opinion of the trade among fans is mostly unfavorable.
In the Over The Baggy piece, I was particularly surprised by a quote that came from you Bill, when you said, "There is a fine line between patience and impatience or patience and panic, you don’t want to overreact either way." Really...because this move strikes me as ill-conceived and poorly thought out. Not only that, it wreaks of impatience. Gleeman did a nice job, as he always does, of breaking down the trade from a statistical standpoint and no matter how you look at it, this trade doesn't make sense. Bill, you've done an ok job trying to fill Terry Ryan's shoes and even Ryan didn't always pull the right strings, but I'm fairly confident that he wouldn't have made this deal.
My thoughts on the deal? If it doesn't make the team obviously better, and it costs you what is arguably your most valuable trading piece, then why make the deal? It just seems like a deal that didn't need to be made. My suggestion is to hire Aaron Gleeman or someone with a similar grasp on sabremetrics to help you in avoiding a mistake like this in the future.