The first shoe finally dropped Monday.
Carlos Ruiz reportedly signed a three-year, $26 million contract with the Phillies that also includes a fourth-year option, marking the first significant splash among free-agent catchers. Ruiz’s signing also means that there is one less catching option available to the Red Sox, who are currently dealing with Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s free agency.
Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has stated that the club has some level of interest in re-signing all of its free agents, and John Farrell said recently that Saltalamacchia has a future with the Red Sox. However, it remains to be seen whether the two sides will ultimately agree to a deal, and it’s now sounding as if Boston made a push for Ruiz before he re-signed with Philadelphia. CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that was it was a close call with Ruiz and the Red Sox.
Saltalamacchia might be the Red Sox’ Plan A, but Ruiz certainly would have made sense for Boston. The 34-year-old gets on base at a solid clip and is also considered a leader who works well with his pitching staff. Ruiz is coming off a down season in which he battled injuries and served a 25-game suspension due to a positive test for Adderall, but he enjoyed a career year in 2012. The backstop batted .325 and hit 16 homers to go with 68 RBIs and earned a trip to his first All-Star game two seasons ago.[tweet https://twitter.com/JonHeymanCBS/status/402492933917532160 align=’center’]
Photo via Flickr/Darrins