The Mariners acquired veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz in a trade Sunday night from the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple sources, although there was no immediate confirmation from either club.
News of the trade broke in a twitter post by Jon Heyman of www.fanragsports.com. A subsequent twitter report by Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times said the Dodgers will receive left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno in return.
The Dodgers currently hold a $4.5 million option on Ruiz, 37, with a $500,000 buyout. The Mariners will pick up that option.
Nuno, 29, will be eligible this winter for arbitration for the first time in his career after going 1-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 55 games, including one start. He is a four-year veteran who made $532,900 in 2016.
Ruiz is an 11-year veteran who spent his entire career with Philadelphia before an Aug. 25 trade sent him to the Dodgers as part of a multi-player deal. He batted a combined .264 this season with three homers and 15 RBIs in 62 games.
The trade essentially positions Ruiz to replace Chris Iannetta as the backup to Mike Zunino. Iannetta became a free agent last Thursday when the Mariners chose not to exercise a $4.5 million option in his contract for 2017.
Iannetta, 33, began this season as the club’s starting catcher before the Mariners turned again to Zunino over the closing three months. Iannetta finished the season with a .210 average in 94 games with seven homers and 24 RBIs.
Ruiz has a .266 average and a .352 on-base percentage over 1,083 career games. Hr rated at plus-four in runs saved above average this season as computed by Baseball Info Solutions.
Nuno is 5-20 with a 4.02 ERA in 126 games, including 42 starts, over his four big-league seasons with the New York Yankees (2013-14), Arizona (2014-15) and the Mariners.
The Mariners acquired Nuno from Arizona in a June 3, 2015 trade with first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo for catcher Welington Castillo, reliever Dominic Leone, outfielder Gabby Guerrero and infielder Jack Reinheimer.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners