Monday, November 7, 2016
Chooch Update: 'Backup My Ass' Edition
The MLB trade season has been underway for a few days, but nothing absolutely huge has occurred. Nori Aoki's gone to Houston, okay, fair I guess. Cameron Maybin's gone to the Angels, alright I guess that's kind of cool.
Now, about a week in, we finally have a trade that sort of...kind of means something.
Carlos Ruiz, aka Chooch, was the 2nd-to-last member of the 2008 Phillies to leave the team, in a waiver deal to the Dodgers in late August. This worked out extremely well for the Dodgers, who used Carlos as a steady backup with better averages and numbers than Yasmani Grandal, and allowed him to make several great postseason moments happen, before the inevitable happened and the Cubs booted them out slightly early.
Now, for Chooch's next act...he's going to the Mariners.
At a glance, this works extremely well, because the Mariners haven't had a good catcher since Dan Wilson (arguably...but also probably). The last few years, their choice has been Chris Iannetta or Mike Zunino, and neither have been hitting exceptionally well lately. Chooch works as a better bat, as well as a better catcher, even if his defense isn't what it used to be.
The alarming part is that the Mariners are allegedly using Chooch as an 'extended backup'. Which means a team that has LITERALLY NO BETTER OPTIONS at catcher will be saving a legitimately good catcher for what is essentially a backup role.
I don't know if there's another catcher waiting in the pipeline, or if the Mariners are trying to court a younger catcher that can actually hit for the starting position...but you can just start Chooch and get a younger professional backup to just go for defense/two-a-week. Takes a lot less effort.
I don't wanna play GM for the Mariners, and I don't know what kind of plan the Mariners have...but they've squandered the catching position before (by trading Welington Castillo to Arizona), and I think they need to at least be careful.
Still, I'll be on the lookout for more semi-interesting trades.