Dodgers Rumors: Carlos Ruiz Available For Trade
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

In late August the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies completed a trade that swapped backup catchers A.J. Ellis and Carlos Ruiz. Typically, a trade of that nature comes with little fanfare.

However, it marked the first time Ellis and Ruiz were set to play for a new organization. Their strong ties to Los Angeles and Philadelphia, respectively, added a layer of surprise to the trade.

Particularly from the Dodgers’ standpoint, as Ellis was revered throughout the clubhouse and shares a close friendship with Clayton Kershaw.

But Los Angeles felt it necessary to improve against left-handed pitching, and believed Ruiz was capable of aiding their efforts.

There was also the aspect of team control for 2017, with the Dodgers holding an option on Ruiz’s, and Ellis set to reach free agency this winter.

However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers are willing to trade Ruiz and allow Austin Barnes to assume backup responsibilities:

In addressing the trade for Ruiz, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman acknowledged the club option was an added benefit but said the focus squarely remained on this season.

Ruiz appeared in 14 games with the Dodgers, batting .278/.350/.333 with two doubles and three RBI. Over seven postseason games (two starts), the 37-year-old went 3-for-11 with one double, one home run and four RBI.

Over parts of the past two seasons, Barnes has appeared in 47 games for the Dodgers. Along with backing up Yasmani Grandal, he’s also played second and third base.

Barnes hit .295/.380/.443 with 22 doubles, five triples, six home runs and 39 RBI in 85 games this season with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Beyond the Barnes and Ruiz component in Rosenthal’s report, it’s plausible the Dodgers will pursue a trade for Pat Neshek. They attempted to sign the right-handed reliever after the 2014 season, and he may serve as an option to replace Joe Blanton, who may be lost in free agency.