Jim Salisbury of Comcast Sports reports that the Phillies have reached an agreement with catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth $8.85 million. The contract includes an option for a fourth year worth $5million. The deal allows Philadelphia to avoid salary arbitration with their starting catcher, and is pending once passing a physical
The Phillies aggressively locked up their arbitration eligible players to three year deals, buying out subsequent eligibility and provided payroll stability for the foreseeable future. The agreement with Ruiz comes on the heels of deals with Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton and extricate Philadelphia from the arbitration process less than a week after the club exchanged arbitration figures with their arbitration eligible players. Ruiz, like Blanton and Victorino, is locked in for the next three seasons at a very reasonable average annual salary. Details of the deal beyond the full guaranteed value have yet to be released.
Ruiz sought $2.5 million for 2010 in his first year of arbitration eligibility. He made $475,000 in 2009. The Phillies countered with $1.7 million, putting the mid-point between the two sides at $2.1 million. Ruiz' expected average annual salary of nearly $2.95 million is $850,000 over that midpoint. The deal buys Ruiz' remaining arbitration eligibility.
Ruiz has handled the majority of the catching chores of the Phillies since 2007. He had his best season at the plate in 2009 posting a career best batting line of .255/.355/.435. He turned 31 last week.
Once the Ruiz signing is completed, it will reduce the number of players whose cases are pending to 29. The Phillies will have resolved all their pending cases with an arbitration eligible players. Hearings are set to begin in February. Please visit the salary arbitration figures page for more information.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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