Esteury Ruiz is Hot! Did the Brewers already lose the William Contreras trade?
The big move in the offseason for the Brewers was the William Contreras deal. The team went out and got a proven all-star catcher. To get him, they dealt Esteury Ruiz, with whom they acquired in the Josh Hader deal.
Esteury Ruiz (24 yrs old) is leading the major leagues in stolen bases. (He has 27 at the time of this writing.) The speedy, former Brewers prospect has been given the leadoff role in Oakland and is thriving, hitting .268 with 22 RBI’s. He has looked like a good, everyday MLB player. Again, he was also a key-piece in the Josh Hader trade. Sean Murphy went from Oakland to Atlanta. He has also played really, really well.
Of course there are other moving pieces that were part of the trade. But at this point, Ruiz, statistically, is playing better than Joey Wiemer and the injured Garrett Mitchell. He would have looked really good in the Brewers outfield. You could even argue that he has been more important to start this season than Brewers Catcher William Contreras. Defensively Ruiz has been “rangy” and covers a ton of ground. (Also, pstttt… don’t look at the team’s record to determine a trade “winner”. The A’s might be the worst team in baseball.)
Contreras so far
Right now William is hitting .250 with 5 home runs. He plays everyday and will hit anywhere from 2nd in the order to sixth.
Considering that production is coming from the catcher spot, that is also important. Catchers, so far this season, have not shown up or out well. Sean Murphy of Atlanta has had, arguably the best season so far from behind the dish, hitting .290 with 11 home runs. Murphy was also part of this trade.
Many catchers simply don’t hit well or are as good as Murphy. Take the Brewers division, the Central for example. Yan Gomes of the Cubs has hit surprisingly well (.280 with six home runs) but backup Tucker Barnhardt has almost played himself out of the lineup, hitting .179. The Reds Tyler Stephenson has been an offensive liability. The Pirates had some nice, early offensive production from the catcher position. That has since “cooled”.
A look back at the trade
- A’s Get: Esteury Ruiz, Manny Pina, Kyle Mueller, Royber Salinas and Freddy Tarnok
- Brewers Get: William Contreras and pitchers Joel Payamps and Justin Yeager.
- Atlanta Received: Catcher Sean Murphy
Sean Murphy has been on a tear for the first place Braves (32-21). It is hard to discount his value.
Along with Ruiz being acquired in the trade, former Brewer and fan favorite catcher Manny Pina (35 yrs old) is on the 60 Day DL with an injured wrist. He has not delivered due to in jury.
So is pitcher Freddy Tarnok. (Shoulder) He has not been able to play.
Muller has pitched in the majors this season but has not looked good, giving up six earned and eight hits in a loss to the Mariners. After that game he was optioned back down to triple A.
Other than Ruiz the A’s have not gotten much from the deal.
So in reality, to truly declare a “winner”, the other pieces might matter just as much in this deal. Can the Brewers get major league-level pitching out of Payamps or Yeager? (Yeager has pitched well in double A.) Payamps has five holds already at the MLB level and has pitched decent out of the pen for the crew. This trade may end up being just that nuanced.
Of course, as the old cliché goes, online time will tell.
But Ruiz has been playing really, really well.
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