If the Philadelphia Phillies continue to float around the .500 line in July, general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. will have many difficult decisions to make. One of them will be trading Carlos Ruiz.
Yes, that last statement didn’t offer a choice. Instead this author declared that ‘Chooch’ would be traded.
Due to Ruiz’ expiring contract, his current age (34) and reasonable offensive projections, it’s fair to conclude that offering an extension to this veteran backstop isn’t the best option. While the Phillies might take a step back defensively (depending upon who replaces Ruiz), it’s hard to justify committing to this eight-season veteran beyond this baseball year.
Amaro is paying Ruiz $5 million this season, which is the largest amount the catcher has ever earned. Despite his Adderall issue, he should remain a competent glove man through most of this decade. As to whether he’ll be able to physically perform as a starter is another question and that’s what makes this matter a modest dilemma.
Many contending teams are likely to be interested in adding this former 1998 amateur free agent second baseman to their 2013 roster, because the risk in doing so isn’t that great. As long as one of those teams is willing to offer some type of valuable commodity to the Phillies, Amaro will probably be inclined to agree to a deal by the July 31 trade deadline.
Working through a roster revamp isn’t easy. Trading popular players, who also have direct links to the 2008 World Series team, also won’t be initially embraced by the fan base. But, the future must be logically considered as emotions about the past are put into proper perspective.
Therefore, Ruiz seems likely to be given a ticket to ride the ‘Chooch-Chooch’ train out of Philadelphia this summer.