For better or worse, Phillies agree to three-year deal with Ruiz

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First it was Ryan Howard. Then it was Jimmy Rollins. Then Cole Hamels and Chase Utley.

Now, for better or worse, the Phillies have locked up another core member of their 2008 World Series championship team with a long-term contract.

Carlos Ruiz joined Howard, Rollins, Hamels and Utley when he agreed to a three-year, $26 million contract with the Phillies on Monday morning. The deal is expected to be officially announced Thursday.

Ruiz, who turns 36 in January, had been on the free-agent market and drew attention from Colorado and Boston. His new contract with the Phillies includes a fourth-year club option. Ruiz can make an additional $500,000 per year if he starts 125 games behind the plate. His career high is 113 starts at catcher.

-- Jim Salisbury,

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