Seattle Mariners trade rumors have the team set to acquire a new catcher. The Mariners have agreed to a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that will bring catcher Carlos Ruiz to Seattle. A report by MLB states that Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has wasted little time making moves this offseason. The team needed to bring in another catcher for the 2017 MLB season and it appears that Dipoto has accomplished that goal just days into the offseason schedule.
Carlos Ruiz split time between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies during the 2016 MLB season. Appearing in 62 games, Ruiz posted a 0.264 batting average, 0.365 on-base percentage, and a 0.713 OPS. Known for his defense, the Dodgers acquired Ruiz from the Phillies for the stretch-run of the season. He ended up leading the National League in catching base stealers at a rate of 42 percent. This proved very valuable to the Dodgers, and Ruiz even saw time behind the plate during the 2016 MLB Playoffs.
These Seattle Mariners trade rumors have not yet been confirmed by the team, nor has it been revealed what the Mariners would be sending to the Los Angeles Dodgers to complete the deal. The Mariners recently declined a team option on catcher Chris Iannetta, making it a priority to acquire another catcher during the MLB offseason. Carlos Ruiz seems to be only a short-term option for the team, especially since he just turned 37. He could bring a veteran stability to the position, though, which could prove invaluable for the Mariners.
On the 25-man roster, the Mariners still have Jesus Sucre and Mike Zunino as two catchers under contract. Sucre and Zunino are both arbitration eligible, but it is unclear if the team wants to keep the former catcher on the active roster. Bringing in a veteran catcher who is both adept at calling games and throwing out baserunners could serve as a way to help Zunino develop further. It could also be an indication that the Mariners will soon be parting with one of the catchers currently on the roster in order to move in a different direction.
As far as salaries go, Carlos Ruiz has a team option for the 2017 MLB season that hasn’t been picked up yet. It’s possible that Ruiz has waived a no-trade clause in his contract with the understanding that the Mariners will then pick up that option. If that is the case, the Mariners would pay him about $4.5 million for next year. In comparison, Ruiz had earned about $8.5 million in each of the prior three MLB seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and LA Dodgers.
While this may not be a move seen as “big” by Seattle Mariners fans, it could be one of many steps that Jerry Dipoto takes during the MLB offseason. Carlos Ruiz is a former All-Star at the position, so he has been through a lot when it comes to his Major League career. That experience could help out the young pitchers that comprise most of the Mariners starting rotation at this point. It could also help dissuade opposing base stealers when the primary catcher gets the day off.
It is expected that the teams will reveal more information about this deal at some point on Monday, November 7. As it stands, these are still considered just Seattle Mariners rumors, as neither the Mariners or the Los Angeles Dodgers has confirmed that a deal is even taking place. With various sources already jumping to confirm that a deal is taking place, it now simply comes down to what the Mariners will be sending the Dodgers to complete this transaction.
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