A trade destination for Darin Ruf was always there and has now become clearer

Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Darin Ruf (33)  poses for a
Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets first baseman Darin Ruf (33) poses for a / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Trading Darin Ruf or releasing him for nothing has been on the to-do list for every New York Mets fan all winter. We don’t have to go into all of the reasons why he’s an imperfect fit for this roster. Carrying him into Opening Day wouldn’t give the team its best shot to win. 

Rather than preach to the choir any further, let’s look at an opportunity for the Mets to finally send him somewhere. The injury to Rhys Hoskins on Thursday looked horrific and with so few options for the Philadelphia Phillies to consider, a reunion with the man the fans used to call “Babe Ruf” should be something both clubs consider.

Ruf for Craig Kimbrel? I’m joking. But what about Ruf for a low-level prospect, some cash, or something else?

If the Rhys Hoskins injury is serious, the Mets have a trade destination for Darin Ruf

This is reactionary, but it’s also something that could’ve made sense prior to Hoskin’s injury. The Phillies do not have good outfield depth on their roster. Their backup outfielders are mostly utility guys. Left-handed hitting Jake Cave is probably going to get significant playing time until Bryce Harper returns. So will Darick Hall, a first baseman, in place of Hoskins.

Ruf, on the Phillies roster, makes far more sense than he does on the Mets. Regardless of which of these two teams he plays for, he’ll be on the roster bubble. Ruf as a part-time first baseman in Philadelphia against lefties with Hall against the righties is something for them to consider. They won’t shouldn’t have to knock down any door to get in contact with Billy Eppler about a trade. He should already be on the phone with them to see if there is any interest.

The problem with this trade is two-fold. The Mets shouldn’t be in the business of helping out the Phillies. The Phillies, if they really did have serious interest in Ruf, could simply make do with what they have then turn to him in free agency when/if their rivals up I-95 release him.

On paper, Ruf could make sense on a lot of rosters as a platoon partner. When the Mets traded for him last summer, we cringed but we understood the purpose. It was how much they gave up to get him that disturbed fans most.

Opening Day is in less than a week and both clubs are no strangers to late March trades. Yesterday (or today if you see some sources) Bud Harrelson was sent to Philadelphia back in 1978. Could we see another trade between these two rivals?

Next. 3 best trades of the Steve Cohen era so far. dark