LOS ANGELES — In a shocking move, the Dodgers on Thursday acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league right-handed pitcher Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later or cash, both teams announced.
Ellis, 35, is hitting .194/.285/.252 in 53 games this season, while the 37-year-old Ruiz is hitting .261/.368/.352 in 48 games.
Ruiz is hitting .250/.421/.409 against left-handed pitching in 2016, and has hit .273/.399/.449 the last three seasons, compared to .241/.323/.293 for Ellis this year and .240/.373/.390 the last three years.
Ellis is widely respected as a game caller and handler of pitchers, and renowned for his preparation work. He caught 11 of Clayton Kershaw’s 16 starts this season, and caught 118 of 142 Kershaw starts since the start of 2012.
Ellis was the longest-tenured member of the Dodgers organization, drafted by the team in the 18th round in 2003.
To be the longest tenured Dodger was something I was extremely proud of ... it rips your heart out - AJ Ellis— Jack Baer (@JFordBaer) August 25, 2016
"I'm almost out of tears now," Ellis said of saying goodbye to teammates.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) August 25, 2016
Ellis described Kershaw as "shocked" by the trade. The two men wept together, he said.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) August 25, 2016
Ellis is a free agent after the 2016 season.
Ruiz has a $4.5 million club option for 2017, with a $500,000 buyout. He is making $8.5 million in 2016, per Cot’s contracts, with roughly $1,765,027 remaining after Thursday.
Ellis is making $4.5 million in 2016, with roughly $934,426 due after Thursday. Philadelphia is sending Los Angeles $1 million in the deal, per the Associated Press.
In parts of nine seasons with the Dodgers, Ellis hit .237/.340/.348 in 544 games, including 485 starts at catcher.