Carlos Ruiz to Mariners: Latest Trade Details, Comments and ReactionNovember 7, 2016
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz from the Philadelphia Phillies in August, but they elected to trade him to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the deal, adding Seattle will pick up Ruiz's $4.5 million option for 2017. The Dodgers are receiving a pitcher from the Mariners' 40-man roster, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The player is expected to be left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno, per Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times.
Ruiz, who started his big league career in Philadelphia in 2006, appeared in just 62 games between the Phillies and Dodgers last year, slashing .264/.365/.348 with three home runs and 15 RBI.
While those were passable numbers at the plate, they were a far cry from his prime, when the 2012 All-Star posted a .325 batting average, a .934 OPS and 16 home runs.
At his best, Ruiz provides pop behind the plate, with 68 career home runs, though those have been spread out over a number of seasons:
|Carlos Ruiz's Career Stats|
|Season||Team||Games||Slash Line||Home Runs||RBI||Stolen Bases|
|2016||Philadelphia Phillies/Los Angeles Dodgers||62||.264/.365/.348||3||15||3|
One thing that could be appealing is his prowess against left-handed pitching. According to ESPN.com, he hit .271 with two home runs against southpaws last year. From 2013 to 2015, he hit .277 against lefties, compared to his .230 average against righties.
Ruiz is also a valuable defender. He's been responsible for 43 total defensive runs saved above average in his career, including seven in just 493 innings in 2016, per FanGraphs. He also caught a career-high 41.7 percent of potential base stealers in 2016, per ESPN.com.
Ruiz likely won't take the projected starting role from 25-year-old Mike Zunino—who hit 12 home runs in just 55 games in 2016 and 22 long balls in 2014—but he provides proven insurance behind the youngster.
In addition to his defense and ability to hit southpaws, Ruiz will bring plenty of postseason experience to the Mariners. He has played 53 playoff games in his career and won a World Series ring with the Phillies in 2008. That type of presence will be a welcome addition to a Mariners club that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2001.
Ruiz will be 38 years old during the 2017 season, but his veteran leadership and array of skills should make him a viable player behind the plate for Seattle.