|Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets made a pair of trades ahead of the trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon. They acquired infielder/outfielder Darin Ruf from the San Francisco Giants for J.D. Davis, left-handed pitcher Thomas Szapucki, minor league right-handed pitcher Carson Seymour, and minor league left-handed pitcher Nick Zwack. They also acquired a right-handed pitcher, Michael Givens, from the Chicago Cubs for minor-league right-hander Saul Gonzalez.
Ruf, 36 years old, who is probably known to Mets fans for his time with the Philadelphia Phillies, is signed through the 2023 season with a team option for 2024, which explains the big haul San Francisco got in return for the slugger. This season, he hit .216 with a .328 on-base percentage and a .373 slugging percentage, as he hit 11 home runs and had 38 RBI, with 40 walks and 85 strikeouts, in 90 games. His 12.7 percent walk rate ranks fifth in the National League.
Ruf played for the Phillies from 2012 through 2016. After that, he played for Samsung of the KBO for three seasons (2017-19) before joining the Giants in 2022.
In 66 games Ruf started this year for San Francisco, he played 29 at first base, 17 in left field, 17 as a designated hitter, and three in right field, so he will provide the same versatility as Davis, who played first base, third base, left field, and served as designated hitter often.
Davis spent four years with the Mets, and his best season was by far his first, as he hit .307 with 22 home runs and 57 RBI in 2019.
This season, Davis hit .238 with a .324 on-base percentage, and a .359 slugging %, with four home runs and 21 RBI.
Givens, 32, has a 6-2 record with two saves and a 2.66 ERA (earned run average), as he has allowed 15 earned runs on 40.2 innings pitched, in 40 games out of the bullpen for the Cubs this season.
The six wins Givens has lead all National League relievers, and he is tied for 12th in the league with 51 strikeouts out of the bullpen. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 16 outings (17.1 IP) going back to June 16.
Givens has held right-handed hitters to a .196 batting average in his career, a mark that ranks fourth among qualifying pitchers since 2015, behind only his new teammate Max Scherzer (.176), Yankee Aroldis Chapman (.185), and Raisel Iglesias (.188).
Since Givens made his debut in 2015 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, who were managed by current Mets skipper Buck Showalter at the time, he ranks in the top 10 among all relief pitchers in wins (31, tied for third), innings (437.0, seventh), and strikeouts (517, 10th).