The Philadelphia Phillies and Carlos Ruiz have agreed to terms on a three-year contract, according to reports. The deal, which is expected to be $26 million, includes a limited no-trade clause and a club option for the 2017 season. He can earn an extra $500,000 in each season for playing in at least 125 games.
According to www.baseballplayersalaries.com, Ruiz contributed to 9.44% of the Phillies performance last season, in a year in which he only appeared in 92 games. He was payed $5 million. This season, Carlos Ruiz will be roughly paid $8.66 million, and will most likely appear in more games. The Phillies 2013 payroll was $170 million. Ruiz's current contract would be worth 5% of that amount of money, and even in only 92 games he contributed to about 10% of the Phillies performance. He should be payed $17 to match his performance. Ruiz, however, is on the verge of age 35 and his performance does not seem to be improving. Nonetheless, I view this contract as a steal for the Phillies.
Ruiz, 35 in January, was signed by the Phillies as a free agent in 1998, and began his career in 2006. He has a career .274/.358/.412 slash line and has been a smooth operator behind the plate. He has caught two-no hitters (including a perfect game), 46 playoff games, and 825 regular season games. Last year, Ruiz was suspended for the first 25 games due to PED usage, and hit .268/.320/.368 with 5 home runs and 37 in 92 games. The Phillies wanted to retain Ruiz for numerous reasons, but a large reason for keeping Ruiz is because of his hitting against left-handed pitching. Carlos Ruiz has a career .761 OPS versus lefties; the Phillies as a team had a .679 OPS versus lefties last season. Being able to play for a full season should definitely help as well.
The Phillies are no longer in the running for a catcher, and teams like the Rockies, Twins, and Red Sox have to find another guy behind the plate to sign. Brian McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and A.J. Pierzynski are the top receivers left on the market.
(Photo courtesy: www.philly.com)