The Philadelphia Phillies have traded Carlos Ruiz.
No, you’re not reading that wrong. In a bittersweet move for Phillies fans, Ruiz has been shipped out west to join former teammate Chase Utley with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In exchange for Ruiz, the Phillies will receive fellow veteran catcher A.J. Ellis, young right-hander Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. Following this move, first baseman Ryan Howard is the only player currently on the Phillies roster that was a member of the 2008 World Series team.
Ruiz, 37, leaves quite a legacy behind in Philadelphia. Most notably, he caught four no-hitters in a Phillies uniform, tying him for most all-time with Jason Varitek. Ruiz was signed by the Phillies as an international free agent in 1998, and made his major league debut in 2006. In 10 seasons, Ruiz owns a .266/.352/.393 batting line with 68 home runs and 401 RBIs. While not known for an outstanding level of offensive performance, Ruiz has become well-known for his performance behind the plate. “Chooch,” as fans refer to him, reached his peak in 2012, when he hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs in 421 plate appearances. He was beloved by fans, both on and off the field.
In return, the Phillies will receive veteran catcher A.J. Ellis. Ellis, 35, has seen his workload decrease ever since the 2012 season. Ellis has been labeled as Clayton Kershaw‘s personal catcher, a label that will now disappear with this move. For his career, Ellis is a .237 hitter with 36 home runs and 191 RBIs. He’s never particularly wowed anyone with his performance at the plate or behind the plate, and has mostly served as a platoon catcher in his time with the Dodgers. However, his presence in the locker room will be missed by many — including Kershaw.
Also, the Phillies will receive minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans. Bergjans, 23, was an eighth-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft by the Dodgers. Bergjans had a solid start to his career last season, going 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 53.2 innings between Rookie Ball and Single-A Great Lakes. This season, though, the wheels have fallen off, as Bergjans has gone 3-13 with an ERA just a tick below 5.00 in 130 innings pitched. A Pennsylvania native, scouts project Bergjans as a valuable bullpen arm, due to his thin frame.
With each move, the end of an era is coming closer for the Phillies. It began with Jimmy Rollins, and continued with the departures of Cole Hamels and Chase Utley. Ryan Howard currently sits as the only member on the Phillies roster who was around during the 2008 World Series run. With six days still remaining until the August 31 waiver trade deadline, the possibility still exists that Howard could traded — a move that would officially close the door on one of the greatest periods in Phillies history.