The Nationals and Dodgers are in the final stages of completing a blockbuster deal before the MLB Trade Deadline Thursday, sending Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to LA for a haul of prospects. One prospect, in particular, was key in trade discussions for the Nationals.
Catcher Keibert Ruiz, the top prospect in the Dodgers' farm system, was a crucial inclusion in any trade involving Max Scherzer, per MLB Network's David Vassegh.
"Earlier this week, I had spoken to people with the Nationals and they were insistent on getting back Keibert Ruiz in any trade for Max Scherzer if they were to make a deal with the Dodgers," Vassegh said on MLB Network. "The Dodgers at the beginning of the week were trying to get creative and not include Ruiz."
Along with Ruiz, the Nationals will receive pitcher Josiah Gray, pitcher Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donovan Casey. Gray and Ruiz are considered the No. 1 and 2 prospects in LA's farm system and figure to be building blocks for the Nationals moving forward.
"Keibert Ruiz was the centerpiece of this trade," Vassegh said. "If the Dodgers were not willing to trade Ruiz, this trade was not going to happen."
In 52 games in Tiple-A this season, Ruiz is hitting .311/.381/.632 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI and 18 doubles. The Nationals don't have a long-term answer at catcher, so Ruiz should be in line to take over behind the plate for Washington once he's ready for the majors.