Phillies veterans Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard have both cleared revocable waivers, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (via Twitter). Both can now be freely traded without restriction, though only one week remains for players to be dealt while remaining eligible for the post-season rosters of their new clubs.
The news is hardly surprising, and it’s not altogether clear that either player holds much chance of being moved. The pair constitutes the last remaining players from the organization’s recent golden years, and neither has ever played for another major league team. Both are obviously well past their prime but remain expensive, and each possesses full no-trade protection via ten-and-five rights.
Two teams, however, are said to be “mulling” a move to add Ruiz, who is earning $8.5MM and is owed a $500K buyout on a $4.5MM club option next year. He is actually playing fairly well this year — particularly given that it is his age-37 season — in reserve action. In 193 plate appearances, Ruiz has put up a crafty .261/.368/.352 batting line, making up for his lack of power with a rather remarkable ratio of 28 strikeouts against 24 walks.
Meanwhile, says Stark, there’s no indication whatsoever that Howard will be moved — as had been previously reported. He is not only playing on a $25MM salary this year, but will still take home a $10MM buyout on a 2017 club option. The 36-year-old slugger is a limited player at this stage, though he is still capable of hitting right-handed pitching and has popped 19 long balls in 286 plate appearances. Howard is putting on a Philly swan song at the moment, as he has banged out five home runs and delivered a .378/.425/.838 slash in the month of August.