The Dodgers exercised the contract option of catcher Carlos Ruiz and traded him to the Seattle Mariners. The return is not yet known; according to one report the Dodgers will receive a pitcher on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.
Update (9:45 p.m.): The Dodgers will receive left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Mariners, according to multiple reports Sunday night. Nuno pitched 55 games for the Mariners last season, all but one out of the bullpen, and went 1-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 58 ⅔ innings. The left-hander walked 1.7 batters per nine innings and struck out 7.8. Club officials declined to confirm the reports because the trade hasn’t been finalized.
Ruiz, 37, was acquired in an Aug. 25 trade with the Philadelphia Phillies for veteran catcher A.J. Ellis and minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans. He threw out 41.7 percent of attempted base stealers in 2016, the best mark in baseball. Acquired to shore up the Dodgers’ struggles against left-handed pitching, Ruiz reached base in 11 of his 29 plate appearances against lefties in the regular season.
Ruiz reprised his role as Yasmani Grandal‘s backup in the playoffs. His pinch hit home run in Game 3 of the National League Division Series was one of three hits in 12 October plate appearances.
Ruiz’s contract option will pay him $4.5 million next season.
The trade allows the Dodgers to promote Austin Barnes, 26, to the role of primary backup next season. The Riverside native has a .180/.315/.230 slash line in 74 major league plate appearances, and a .869 and .824 OPS at Triple-A Oklahoma City the last two years, respectively.