Home News Oakland Athletics option Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A, add Tyler Nevin

Oakland Athletics option Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A, add Tyler Nevin


Oakland Athletics option Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A, add Tyler Nevin

Esteury Ruiz, the A’s speedy outfielder who led the American League in stolen bases last season, was optioned to Triple-A on Monday in a sobering acknowledgement Oakland isn’t satisfied with its prized prospect from the Sean Murphy trade two years ago.

Then again, it’s not every day a guy batting .429 with a 1.232 OPS (albeit over seven at-bats) gets told he’s not good enough to play on a team that lost a franchise-record 112 games a year ago.

Ruiz, who had seen spot duty through the first week of the season after setting an AL rookie record with 67 steals last year, is being sent to Las Vegas to work on his on-base skills. The 25-year-old had a below-average on-base percentage of .308 a year ago, something A’s general manager David Forst said needs improvement.

“The reality is, to use his skills, he needs to get on base. He needs to be able to do that on a consistent basis,” Forst told reporters in explaining why Ruiz was sent down to make room for utilityman Tyler Nevin, claimed off waivers Sunday from Baltimore. “I’m hoping with everyday at-bats in Triple-A, it’s not a long stay for him down there.”

His inability to get on base consistently in spring training seemed to be a precursor to Monday’s move, since Ruiz had just a .295 on-base percentage over 61 at-bats in Arizona.

Ruiz’s demotion provided more evidence the A’s look like the big losers in the three-team, nine-player trade in December 2022 that basically sent Murphy to Atlanta, catcher William Contreras to Milwaukee and Ruiz, pitchers Kyle Muller, Freddy Tarnok and Royber Salinas and catcher Manny Pina to Oakland.

Not only did Murphy help the Braves win the NL East, he had career-high of 21 homers, 68 RBIs and .844 OPS. Meanwhile, the A’s got Contreras from Atlanta and flipped him and top-notch reliever Joel Payamps to the Brewers to acquire Ruiz.

All Contreras did was become what many believe is the majors’ best catcher while earning an All-Star berth and winning the NL’s Silver Slugger award in 2023, while batting .289 with 17 homers and 78 RBIs.

It looks even worse when you consider Contreras has done all that and will still make just $22,000 more than Ruiz’s $745,000 contract with the A’s this season.

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