Bust A Move

In this city ladies look pretty
Guys tell jokes so they can seem witty
Tell a funny joke just to get some play
Then you try to make a move and she says, “No way”

~Young MC

2016 NLCS Game 5---Chicago Cubs vs Los Angeles Dodgers
2016 NLCS Game 5—Carlos Ruiz-Chicago Cubs vs Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, October 20, 2016 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Jon SooHoo/© Los Angeles Dodgers, LLC 2016

The first move of the offseason by the Dodgers was made on Sunday, although it had not been confirmed by the clubs. Carlos Ruiz was traded to the Seattle Mariners for Vidal Nuno. There has been some speculation that Ruiz would be on the move this offseason, and that has proved to be true.

Nuno is a left handed pitcher who has spent most of the last two seasons as a reliever. In 2016 with the Seattle Mariners, the 29-year-old had a 3.53 ERA. The left handed specialist pitched 58.2 innings last season, giving up 11 home runs, walking 11 and striking out 51. He has previously pitched for the Diamondbacks and Yankees in addition to the Mariners.

Ruiz was brought over to LA in a trade with Philadelphia for the beloved A.J. Ellis. Ruiz did deliver a few big postseason hits, with his homer in Game 4 of the NLDS, and the go ahead hit in Game 5. Personally, I’m always going to want to get more in exchange for trading away Clayton Kershaw‘s best friend and preferred catcher. Would A.J., while probably not having caught Kershaw is Game 6 of the NLCS, have helped Clayton? Maybe so, maybe not. I still hope that somehow A.J. makes his way back to the team but that dream will just remain in my head.

The Ruiz trade does seemingly move Austin Barnes into the position for backup catcher to Yasmani Grandal. Barnes spent the 2016 season going up and down from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He appeared in 21 games with the big league club hitting .156. But he is a very athletic player, and a very good receiver behind the plate. Barnes also has the versatility to play second base, if needed. This is probably an overdue move on the Dodgers part.

In other offseason news, Scott Kazmir decided not to opt out of his contract. He is still owed $32 million over the next two years by the Dodgers. With that, he joins Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu as starting pitchers who have two years left on their contracts. Kazmir was only able to throw one inning after August 22, as the end of his season was plagued by a spinal injury. He had a record of 10-6 in 26 games started, with a 4.56 ERA. He allowed 21 homers and walked 52, while striking out 134.

Kazmir, along with McCarthy and Ryu are intriguing trade candidates this offseason. McCarthy had previously been mentioned in the Ryan Braun to LA deal, along with Puig. Kazmir may be more comfortable moving on to somewhere else and starting fresh. Since it is a poor free agent starting pitchers market, the Dodgers could turn these pitchers into good trades to bolster the lineup.

 

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