November 07, 2016
PHOENIX – Carlos Ruiz has had a pretty good run in the last three months: he joined a contender and returned to the postseason for the first time in five years via a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August and has found a new home for 2017, too, before the free agent market opened.
Ruiz was traded from the Dodgers to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno.
Instead of declining the $4.5 million club option in his contract, the Dodgers swapped him for a versatile left-hander to plug into their pitching staff. Ruiz, who turns 38 in January, will make $4.5 million with the Mariners rather than hitting the open market looking for a suitor this winter.
Ruiz, one of two members of the 2008 World Champion Phillies, along with Ryan Howard, that remained on the Phils roster in 2016, is likely in line to back up Mike Zunino in Seattle. But given Zunino’s unflattering stat line, Ruiz could be in line for more playing time than most backup catchers in 2017.
Ruiz hit .264 with a .365 OBP in 62 games between the Phillies and Dodgers in 2016, his 11th big league season.
Among 40 big league catchers with at least 200 plate appearances in 2016, Ruiz’s .365 OBP ranked fourth, behind Francisco Cervelli, Gary Sanchez, and Sandy Leon. Since 2010, only Buster Posey (.374) has a higher OBP than Ruiz (.359) among major league catchers.
Ruiz also threw out 15 of 36 of opponents attempting to steal bases in 2016, a 42 percent success rate that ranked best in the National League.