In a stunningly terrible move, the Athletics have optioned Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A

The Oakland Athletics have sent Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A and selected the contract of Tyler Nevin
Mar 26, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Lawrence Butler (2)
Mar 26, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Lawrence Butler (2) / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

In a genuinely reprehensible move, the Oakland Athletics have optioned outfielder Esteury Ruiz to Triple-A Las Vegas in order to make room for Tyler Nevin, who was claimed off waivers on Sunday evening.

Athletics' GM David Forst told reporters that Ruiz needs to improve at the plate, specifically his ability to get on base more often, in order for him to be an asset at the major league level.

Let's digest this for a second. Ruiz played 132 games in Oakland last season and hit .254/.309/.345 with 5 homers, 47 runs, and 47 RBI. His 86 wRC+ made that line 14% below league average.

There were 134 qualified major league hitters last year. Ruiz fell just short of the plate appearance threshold to qualify but if he had, his .309 OBP would have ranked 112th, surrounded by Willy Adames, Jake Burger, Lourdes Gurriel, and Tommy Edman.

Ruiz isn't an elite OBP guy but he parlayed a slightly below average OBP into 67 steals while playing reasonable defense when he was in the outfield corners.

In three games this year, Ruiz had gotten three hits, including a double and a triple, stolen a base, and scored two runs. He'd yet to draw a walk but also had struck out just once in his 8 plate appearances.

Ruiz had been a solid player in 2023, struggled during the spring, and then been good in a small sample so far this year.

In thanks for his service, Ruiz has been demoted to Triple-A so the A's could get a guy with a career .203/.310/.301 slash line onto the major league roster. So much for on base percentage.

Plus, we have to consider that Nevin isn't an outfielder. He's made a handful of appearances in the outfield corners over the past few years but realistically he's a third baseman, and not a particularly good one at that.

Don't get the point confused here. This isn't an anti-Tyler Nevin take. I've got nothing against the guy.

What this is is absolutely unhinged behavior from the Athletics front office.

Last Dive Bar brought up the fact that Ruiz and Brent Rooker had been wearing LDB wrist bands and put the conspiracy brain into action that the A's executive team put their proverbial foot down and said no to David Forst.

We can't prove any of that, of course. But that doesn't change the fact that this is just the most recent example of poor decision making from the front office of a team who clearly does not care about winning baseball games in Oakland any longer.

It's a massive blow to the handful of Athletics fans left paying attention to the games, as Ruiz is one of the more exciting players out there right now. He's not on the level of superstars like Ronald Acuna or Julio Rodriguez but he's absolutely electric to watch.

It's an unfortunate reality but A's fans are worse off without Ruiz on the roster.