Mets trade for Giants’ Darin Ruf instead of Red Sox’ JD Martinez
Chaim Bloom’s asking price for JD Martinez may be too high.
Several reports ahead of the August 2 trade deadline had the New York Mets gunning for the Boston Red Sox star, but their acquisition of Darin Ruf all but guarantees they’re no longer interested. Less than two hours before the 6 PM ET deadline, the Mets traded JD Davis and three prospects to the San Francisco Giants for Ruf, a slugger even more veteran than Martinez, but with a less impressive, albeit unique resumé.
Ruf made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on September 14, 2012, and played parts of five seasons with the club before they traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who sold his contract to the Samsung Lions of the KBO. After three successful seasons in Korea, Ruf returned to MLB via a minor-league deal with the Giants and made their Opening Day roster.
Former Red Sox 2013 World Series champion Will Middlebrooks praised the trade and made one heck of a prediction:
"“I feel like Ruf could be the Mets version of 2018 Red Sox Steve Pearce.”"
Pearce and Nathan Eovaldi were Boston’s trade deadline acquisitions and the Sox went on to win a franchise-record 108 regular-season games and their fourth World Series championship in fifteen years. For his efforts in the Fall Classic, Pearce was named World Series MVP.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Ruf has excellent numbers against lefties. Over 337 plate appearances with the Giants, his 155 wRC+ ranks fourth among all MLB hitters. He’s coming off a solid July in which he homered five times, bringing his season total to 11.
Meanwhile, Martinez is hitting .288/.353/.459 with a .813 OPS, 32 doubles, and nine home runs this season. Despite a significant drop in power (he hit 28 HR in 2021), he’s still one of the game’s best hitters. His doubles are the second-most among AL hitters, and his extra-base hits are tied for eighth.
The 34-year-old slugger will be a free agent at the end of this season, and it’s unlikely the Sox bring him back. As such, they’d like to trade him now and get something for his talents, but their best landing spot might be gone now.