Carlos Ruiz will head to Clearwater, Florida to take batting practice and work on blocking baseballs for a few days with the intent of beginning a rehab assignment on Friday, according to Corey Seidman of CSN Philly. Ruiz has been out since June 26, when he was hit in the head by a pitch against the Marlins.
Ruiz, 35, is in the first year of a three-year, $26 million contract signed last November. The catcher hasn’t shown much power, but has been their best player in the on-base department. In 273 plate appearances, he has two home runs, 14 RBI, and a .257/.363/.357 slash line.
Ruiz’s back-up, Wil Nieves, has been out since June 19 with a strained quad. As a result, the Phillies have had to resort to utilizing their third- and fourth-string catchers, Cameron Rupp and Koyie Hill.
Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.
Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.
Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.
Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.