If you thought the Phillies were nuts for re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz for three years and $26 million, I would disagree. At first I thought it was a bad deal too, but the more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to it.
Ruiz, who turns 35 in January, has spent his entire career with the Phillies. He played a key role in helping them win five straight NL East titles from 2007-11 and the 2008 World Series title. The deal will pay him trough his age 37 season, but that’s hardly a reason for concern for a catcher with his defensive and offensive makeup.
Last season, one in which a banned substance suspension for amphetamines limited him to just 94 games, Ruiz hit .288 with a .343 on-base and has become a consistent part of the Phillies’ offense.
An All-Star in 2012, Ruiz batted .325 with a .394 on-base and a .935 OPS. Over the last four seasons Ruiz has compiled a 13.6 fWAR - an average of 3.4 per season – and the 34-year old backstop has shown no signs of slowing down.
Always a solid contact hitter, in his eight seasons with the Phillies, Ruiz struck out more than 50 times only one time in 2010 when he whiffed just 54 times in 433 plate appearances while drawing 55 walks.
Even with a little regression over the next three years, the deal will likely be the least of the Phillies problems. And at least he’s not Miguel Montero who still has four years and $50 million coming to him from the Arizona Diamondbacks. You want bad, I give you bad.
So I’ll have to disagree with Keith Law on this one.