Phillies Trade Carlos Ruiz to the Dodgers
Earlier in the week, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that Phillies stalwarts Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard had cleared waivers, clearing the way for the Phillies to make a trade. And, the Phillies have done so. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies have traded Ruiz to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Additionally, Gelb reports that the Phillies are receiving veteran backstop A.J. Ellis in return along with a prospect. That prospect was later revealed to be Tommy Berjans, a pitching prospect for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The Phillies will also reportedly receive cash considerations in the deal, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
The 37 year-old Ruiz suddenly finds himself poised to make the playoffs. Even without ace Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list, the Dodgers have a three-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. The Dodgers expect to have their ace back soon.
Getting Ellis in return is more of a practical piece; the Phillies do not appear ready to promote a young catcher from the system just yet. Ellis is earning $4.5 million in a one-year contract he signed prior to 2016. Known for his defense and not his bat, Ellis will be a free agent at the end of the season. Ellis is best known as Kershaw's personal catcher.
Berjans is 3-13 with a 4.98 earned run average for the Quakes. Berjans is not ranked among the Dodgers top prospects, but is coming off a decent start, profiled here on milb.com just four days ago. Berjans is a 2015 graduate of Haverford College.
Overall, the Phillies may have been satisfying Ruiz's wishes to join a playoff team, more so than acquiring assets for themselves. Ruiz's departure leaves just one 2008 World Series Champion left on the Phillies roster in Howard. The Phillies still have six days to trade Howard prior to the August 31 trade deadline.