The noise you hear coming from Philadelphia way is "Choooooooooch." The Phillies signed popular catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal Monday for $26 million that includes an option for a fourth season. Reporter Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer had the terms first.
Jayson Stark of ESPN says the contract/fourth-year buyout breaks down like so.
Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, batted .268/.320/.368 with five homers and 16 doubles in 341 plate appearances — though nearly all of his power came in the second half. About this time a year ago, Major League Baseball announced that he was suspended for the first 25 games of the 2012 season because he tested positive for a banned stimulant.
The Phillies had been linked to A.J. Pierzynski, another free-agent catcher, but that was likely an attempt at leverage against Ruiz. Of course, $26 million always seems like a lot of money, and Ruiz is getting older, but also consider:
Carlos Ruiz: 15.8 WAR since start of 2009 ... that ranks 4th among those whose primary position was catcher (Mauer, Molina, Posey)
— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) November 18, 2013
This is the cost of doing business. However, it's the second big move in a week for the Phillies, who also have allocated $16 million to 36-year-old slugger Marlon Byrd. These transactions aren't necessarily bad on the face, but they're curious for a club coming off 89 losses that also wants to do a major trade so it can restructure the payroll of the entire roster. General manager Ruben Amaro, what are you up to?
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