Reviewing the AJ Ellis Trade

FanRag’s Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers have agreed to a deal that will send Carlos Ruiz to the Seattle Mariners.

Andy  McCullough confirms that this is the case and that Ruiz has agreed to waive his no trade clause so the trade can be completed.

There hasn’t been any word as to who the Dodgers are getting in return but you can imagine that it won’t be anyone too special. In his prime Ruiz was one of the game’s premier backstops. However, at 38-years-old, Ruiz is nothing more than a backup catcher that brings a veteran presence to the clubhouse. With Austin Barnes looking more and more like the sure choice for the backup spot next season, getting anything in return for Ruiz is a good deal for the Dodgers.

In my opinion, if the Dodgers can turn Ruiz into a major league ready bullpen pitcher or something of that sort then they actually made a great deal. I see this has a great deal because really what the Dodgers did was turn AJ Ellis into a catcher with postseason experience for the short term and potentially into a much needed bullpen piece for 2017 and beyond. In fact, Ruiz had the first pinch-hit postseason home run by a Dodger since Orlando Hudson in 2009 and the first pinch-hit multi RBI home run since the iconic Kirk Gibson home run in 1988.

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Now, I know that AJ Ellis was a fan favorite and I know that he was best friends with Kershaw, but if you are being honest with yourself you would admit it was a smart move. Prior to being traded last season, Ellis had a miserable .194 batting average with only 1 home run and 13 runs batted in. It wasn’t like this was out of the norm for him either. Outside of one very good season in 2012 where Ellis hit .270 with 13 home runs and 52 runs batted in, Ellis usually sat right around the .200 mark with around 20-25 runs batted in.

Good job Friedman & Co. You turned a well below average catcher into a postseason home run and now a pitcher for 2017 and possibly beyond, even if it wasn’t the most popular move you have made.

UPDATE: The Dodgers are receiving left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno in return for Ruiz. The 29-year-old threw 58 2/3 innings in 55 appearances with the Mariners last season with a 3.53 ERA. Nuno also made 38 starts in 66 appearances with the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Mariners from 2014 to 2015.

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