The catching market just got thinner.
The Phillies are re-signing Carlos Ruiz, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, taking one of the more desirable free-agent backstops off the open market. The deal is for three years and $26 million and also has a club option for 2017, Matt Gelb of Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Ruiz has spent the last eight seasons in Philadelphia, where he has garnered plenty of respect through both his offensive production and his excellent handling of the Phillies’ pitching staff. Losing Ruiz, who has emerged as a leader in Philadelphia, certainly would have been a blow for the Phillies despite there being other catching options available in free agency.
Ruiz is coming off a down season in which he played in just 92 games because of injuries and a 25-game suspension stemming from a positive test for Adderall. He was an All-Star in 2012, though, so there’s reason to believe he’ll bounce back in 2014. The 34-year-old hit .325 with 16 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .394 on-base percentage in 2012 before then hitting .268 with five homers, 37 RBIs and a .320 on-base percentage this past season.
There had been reports that the Rockies were interested in Ruiz, while the Red Sox were believed to be doing their due diligence on the veteran catcher in case Jarrod Saltalamacchia signs elsewhere this offseason.
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