As another trade deadline approaches next Wednesday, many have began to question whether or not the final two members of the 2008 World Series Championship team could soon be playing somewhere other than Philadelphia.
At approximately 5PM, the Philadelphia Phillies officially traded catcher, Carlos Ruiz (along with cash) to the Los Angeles Dodgers, in exchange for catcher, A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher, Tommy Bergjans, and another player to be named later.
Ruiz has spent 11 seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies. From originally being signed as a second baseman in 1998 for $8,000, Ruiz moved on to becoming the beloved starting catcher for the Phillies. Ruiz will be remembered for catching three no-hitters and one perfect game, during his time in Philadelphia. He will also be remembered for helping the Phillies win the 2008 World Series, and being the player who jumped into Brad Lidge’s arms as the final out was made.
Now, Ruiz joins former teammate, Chase Utley, as the two player attempt to win another World Series together. This time, as Los Angeles Dodgers’.
When asked about his thoughts, regarding the trade, Ruiz stated, “I am sad and happy at the same time. I really love Philadelphia and all the fans and my teammates. I know I’m going to miss them. I really appreciate everything we did together. But, on the other side, I am happy because of the chance to go to the playoffs.”
Seeing as how all players must be traded to another team before September 1st, in order to be eligible for the postseason, it comes as no surprise that a deal was made before next Wednesday.
As for the last remaining member of the 2008 World Series Championship team, Ryan Howard could also be sent to play for another team. For the past few seasons, Howard has been available for a trade, however there has been no interest. According to sources, even with Howard currently hitting .339 with seven home runs and 16 RBI’s since the All-Star break, there remains little interest. The reason for the low interest may be due to the fact that he is still owed $16 million in salary, in addition to a $10 million contract buyout for 2017. Before another team even thinks about acquiring Howard from the Phillies, they must determine whether or not it is a good investment for their organization.
In the end, Howard would most likely become a designated hitter in the American League. However, seeing as how American League contenders are currently set in that position, it is unlikely for Howard to be traded. He will most likely play out his final year of his contract in Philadelphia. Howard has continuously stated that he wants to continue playing, so it is very likely that we will see him give his final curtain call and take the field with a new team next season.
Now, Ryan Howard has adopted a similar attitude as now former teammate, Carlos Ruiz, as he stated, “[t]hose are situations where I guess you’ve got to see what presents itself. You know me. The last 12 years I’ve just been focused on playing ball. If it presents itself, it presents itself. You handle that situation. Otherwise, I just try to stay in the moment, stay in the now and prepare for the game.”
Since Howard is a player with 10 seasons in the majors, with 5 consecutive seasons with the same team, he has the power to block a trade. However, Howard has stated that much like Ruiz, his main goal is to play in the postseason again, it is unlikely that he would take such action.
Photo: Matthew Straubmuller (via: Wikimedia Commons)