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Dodgers: MLB Lists Keibert Ruiz as Los Angeles Top Trade Chip

After all this time, could they flip Keibert?



The Dodgers have been building up Kiebert Ruiz for a long time now. Originally signed out of Venezuela in 2014 as a 16-year-old, Los Angeles has long viewed him as the potential catcher of the future. 

But some things have changed over the last few years. The Dodgers had Will Smith step up behind the plate and appears to be the guy for at least the next few years. They also have a 19-year-old Diego Cartaya absolutely crushing minor league pitching right now. 

Because of those factors, MLB listed Keibert as the Dodgers’ number 1 trade chip this summer. The only question at this point is what the team would want in return given that there are very few actual holes on their roster. 

The Dodgers could decide to stick with the depth, given that Ruiz is the next man up if Barnes and Smith have to miss time. But if they feel like the player coming to them via a trade can take them over the top, adding Ruiz to that package would make a lot of sense.

If the Dodgers were looking to take advantage of a hot start, Keibert would be an ideal piece. He’s slashing .286/.333/.589 with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Through 13 games, he has 3 homeruns and 11 total extra-base hits. 

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Again, the return would have to be significant for the Dodgers to flip Keibert. He is arguably one of the most MLB-ready prospects in baseball right now, and he would immediately make an impact on a team he was traded to. 

The most realistic scenario is that the Dodgers hold onto Keibert for now. But if they were to trade him, you can be sure that it would be a move to make sure their bullpen is the best in the league heading into October. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Trade Barnes! Bring Ruiz up to fill Barnes’ current role! There would be a healthy competition with Will that might lift up both players.

    • The problem w/ that is they are young and inexperienced where the pitching staff doesn’t have much confidence in the two of them. You can see it often especially w/ the veteran pitchers and it can cost you games in many ways. Lack of correct pitch calling…lot of shake-offs and cross-offs; lack of framing to steal strikes; lack of blocking that all important slider in the dirt. Smith been having a lot of balls missed because of the one knee on the ground stance which restricts his quick mobility to move. I see a lack of confidence by the pitchers w/ the young guns but not w/ Barnes. However, if they do trade Ruiz I hope they get something that they really need that is very important to take them to the top!

    • Barnes is a good defensive catcher so trade him or make him a utility player, but I believe Kershaw who like to pitch to Barnes only could pitch to Smith or Ruiz also with no revocations. Dodgers would get more offense with those 2. Also Roberts needs to leave position starters in longer–Smith would get 2 or 3 hits 1 day the benched the next. Players need to get in a rhythm by being in the lineup daily.

    • It doesn’t matter who’s behind the plate if the pitchers aren’t holding the runners and controlling the running game, which the Dodger’s pitchers are terrible at doing……not even if Johnny Bench was catching. However, I see Kershaw and Urias doing their best.

  2. Will to 1st base, Moonshot to 2nd, Lux at SS and JTurn at third. Ruiz should be the #1 Catcher with Barnes his backup. When Seager comes back, sign him long term and trade Lux for a reliever and a bat that can make contact.

  3. I’d trade Barnes before Ruiz and only if what we get in return is truly valuable. Personally I think we lack depth in starting pitching organizationally this season. What would we do if one of our pitchers gets hurt? Kershaw’s back, Buehler’s blister, Julio’s somewhat fragile, Gonsolin may not be whole for a while, Gray’s not ready or healthy right now. One of these guys goes down and we are into desperation trade mode.
    Sure, we have bullpen issues but those are resolvable without trading our top tier young players. Plus a steady, reliable starting rotation would allow the bullpen to be used properly. One or more of the unproven relievers we have rolled out this season will prove MLB ready. However, if Treinen tanks, we are SOL.

  4. Figuring out who to trade for could get real interesting soon because spin rates and pitcher’s effectiveness is about to take a big hit as MLB cracks down on goobering up the baseball. Team batting averages are way down all across baseball due to the raised seams. Removing the sticky stuff should compensate for that somewhat. Looking like we are in for an offensive surge. All the sticky users will look a lot less dominant on the mound.
    So if you’re Andrew, who do you trade for?
    Maybe we just find a low-cost back of the rotation starter and leave the rest of the team pretty much as it is? The complexion of the game is about to change. Won’t be dull!
    True Dat about young catchers being a liability. Problem is they aren’t going to learn all they need to know in the minors. I’d rather put Ruiz on the bench and work him into games rather than trade him for some pither whose arm could break.

  5. Say that isn’t so ! Grooming Ruiz all along and now he’s ready. Use him, Smith can play 1st or 3rd. This just makes the four corner versatility even more manageable.
    In worst case trade , would look for that RH big bat many have been waiting for.

  6. Los Doyers are CHEATERS and should be ripped at every ball parks, like Astros got it. Astros busted, shut up and took the heat. Why should cheating ass Doyers get a pass. Organization from top to bottom knew of substance abuse. I don’t get it, bbq em.

  7. I would think you would want to keep Ruiz as your main catcher,

    And find other positions for will smith and cartaya to take full advantage of their bat.

  8. No way is it smart to trade Keiburt. He has shown the potential to be just as good or better than Smith and almost certainly better than Barnes and his mostly anemic bat.

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