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MLB Notes: Phillies send Carlos Ruiz to Dodgers for A.J. Ellis

Associated Press

The N.L. West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Carlos Ruiz from Philadelphia in a trade of backup catchers Thursday, getting a popular player with a world of postseason experience. The Phillies also sent $1 million to the Dodgers for A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named or cash.

The 37-year-old Ruiz was hitting .261 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 48 games, playing behind Cameron Rupp. Ruiz has done well lately, batting .340 (16 for 47) since the All-Star break.

“In terms of leadership ability, ability to call a game and run a pitching staff, Carlos rates extremely well in those things and has experience,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.

“What he brings to our lineup in terms of left-handed pitching, we felt was something that we were focused on for ways to improve,” he said.

Ruiz’s role will be as a backup catcher for the Dodgers. He’ll arrive Friday, and manager Dave Roberts already said he’ll start in his first game against the Chicago Cubs.

Ruiz batting .353 for Philadelphia with two homers and five RBIs in 11 World Series games.

Overall, Ruiz played 46 games in the postseason with the Phillies, helping them win five N.L. East crowns. Those titles came alongside former Philadelphia star Chase Utley, and this trade reunites them on the Dodgers.

The trade also leaves just aging slugger Ryan Howard in Philadelphia from the team that won the 2008 championship.

Ellis hit .194 with one homer and 13 RBIs this season as a backup to Yasmani Grandal. The 35-year-old Ellis often caught Clayton Kershaw and was one of the Cy Young Award winner’s best friends. Ellis said he and Kershaw cried together after learning about the trade.

“To know that, in all likelihood, I’ll never get to catch him again, is without a doubt the most devastating thing I’m feeling right now,” Ellis said.

Ellis was drafted by the Dodgers in 2003 and said he was proud to have spent his career with them.

Dodgers to host Classic

Dodger Stadium will host the championship game of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, with Marlins Park and Petco Park also holding games leading up to final on March 22.

Brazil, Britain, Israel and Pakistan will play qualifiers Sept. 22-25 at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones’ minor league team. Tokyo, South Korea, Miami and Guadalajara, Mexico, will host first-round games in March. Tokyo and San Diego will hold the second-round games.

The semifinals and final will be played at the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2009, Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning to lift Japan over South Korea at Dodger Stadium to win the title.

Clearing the bases

The Nationals acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski from the Athletics. Oakland also sent $500,000 to be paid on Sept. 30 to the Nationals for minor league infielder Max Schrock. … The Red Sox placed rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi on the 15-day DL (left knee). … Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day DL and was leading off against the Angels. Bautista was at designated hitter Thursday and he’ll spend “plenty of time” there, manager John Gibbons said. … Former All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez joined the Rangers and was in their starting lineup Thursday night, five days after signing a minor league deal with the A.L. West leaders. Texas added Gomez from Triple-A Round Rock. The two-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner was in the lineup batting eighth and playing left field in the series opener against Cleveland.

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