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The details finally emerged on the Carlos Ruiz trade from LA to Toronto FC on Thursday and they were shocking to say the least. The LA Galaxy shipped Ruiz to Toronto FC for a pair of supplemental draft picks. Now Toronto has a former MLS MVP and the current Guatemalan national team captain for the low price of two supplemental picks and the $120K in salary they will pay Ruiz.
It seems like highway robbery until you consider that LA used the cap space to sign U.S. national team midfielder Eddie Lewis. As much as adding Lewis should help Bruce Arena’s squad, you can’t help but feel that they gave Ruiz away too cheaply. Was the market really that weak for Ruiz? Did Toronto get the steal of the year?
Some will argue that Ruiz’s temperament and moodiness could create problems in the clubhouse, which could suddenly make that bargain far less of a bargain. There have been rumors that Ruiz isn’t happy with the trade but Toronto midfielder Amado Guevara insists that Ruiz is happy to be joining him in Toronto.
It seems like a deal that helps both teams, but there is certainly room for either team to come away from the trade looking pretty bad. If Ruiz finds his MVP form of old the Galaxy could rue the decision to unload him. However, if Ruiz becomes a troublemaker, and fails to find his scoring touch, the trade could prove costly for Toronto this year.
LA will consider the trade a success of Lewis helps the Galaxy make the playoffs. However, if Edson Buddle stops scoring and Alan Gordon starts playing like the old Alan Gordon, Bruce Arena could suddenly find himself wishing he had kept ‘El Pescadito’ around. Considering what happened the last time Arena traded a former MLS MVP from Central America in order to make room for an aging U.S. national team midfielder you would think Arena would have thought twice about the deal.
What’s my take? I think Toronto made out like bandits because it’s a no-risk trade. If Ruiz is ineffective Toronto will have gambled very little. Ruiz’s contract is not guaranteed in 2009, meaning Toronto could unload him after the season if he doesn’t work out. I don’t mind the deal for LA because the Galaxy needed to do something to add Lewis and forward is a position it could afford to trade from (at least that seems to be the case right now).
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