Judging from the comments on the last few Ruiz posts it seems like a few of you were hoping he really wouldn't show up in Toronto.
Fair enough, considering the Jekyll-Hyde type player we discussed in the last post. Folks who follow TFC have a right to wonder which Ruiz will suit up for Toronto -- the 24-goal scorer from 2002, or the guy who battled injuries and coaches on his way to just one goal so far this season.
One of them is in Collingwood, training and bonding with his new teammates right now.
Sorry to disappoint the anti-Ruiz crowd, but Ruiz did indeed arrive in Toronto yesterday and made the trip to the team retreat this morning.
And for the pro-Pescadito camp... stop worrying. He's here. Now sit back and wait for the goals to roll in.
Much of the debate on the Ruiz trade focuses on what exactly TFC gave up to acquire him.
To recap: cash and two picks (first and second-round) in the 2009 supplemental draft.
Now, the team's top two picks in any draft sounds like a high price to pay for a player with as much baggage as Ruiz lugged to TFC this morning, but there's a big difference between the "Super Draft" and the supplemental one.
First, a mini history lesson.
Back in the day (or as far back in the day as you can go for a league that's only existed since 1996), MLS held two drafts: the college draft for NCAA players, and the supplemental draft, for MLS hopefuls from club teams.
In 2000 they merged the two drafts to create the first "Superdraft." Six rounds long, 72 total selections.
That format lasted until 2005, when MLS shortened the Superdraft to four rounds, then added a four-round supplemental draft, the same routine that's currently in place.
It's important to remember that both drafts draw from the same pool of players. Guys not selected in the main draft head to the supplemental. There's no real shame in it. A few supplemental draftees (like Abe Thompson and Jeff Larentowicz) have made MLS rosters and had productive careers.
Still, none of that changes the fact that the supplemental draft is made up of guys not selected the first time around. So, what MLS calls "a first-round supplemental draft selection," other leagues might (more accurately) label a "fifth-round draft pick."
Looking at it that way -- Ruiz for fifth and sixth-round draft picks -- the price TFC paid for him doesn't seem nearly as steep, does it?
-- Morgan Campbell