Carlos Ruiz re-signs with Phillies for 3 years, $26 million

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies avoid a gaping hole at catcher by locking up their long-time backstop for the next three seasons.

The Phillies have struck early in the offseason once more, this time re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year, $26 million deal with a $4.5 million club option for a fourth year in 2017. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Matt Gelb first reported the details of the contract.

Ruiz has been in the Phillies organization since he was signed as an international free agent out of Panama back in 1998. The right-handed batter became the regular catcher in 2007, and has generally been an above-average presence both at and behind the plate. He scuffled to start 2013, and was suspended 25 games for his use of adderall, but finished strong with a .288/.343/.444 line over the last two months of the season.

Combined with his defense, there is a legitimate chance Ruiz earns the value of the deal over the first two years of the contract -- if he ages well, that $4.5 million club option becomes a significant advantage for the Phillies. At the least, he could be an inexpensive transitional catcher for them in his final year of service. If he's not worth that by 2017, the buyout is for all of $500,000.

Ruiz was also being pursued by the Red Sox, but, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, the third guaranteed year sealed the deal for the Phillies, and ended Boston's pursuit.

More from SB Nation MLB:

Neyer: Some MVP ballots are more "interesting" than others

Goldman: Build stadiums, because America needs more parking lots

MVAs: Looking at 2013’s most valuable acquisitions

MLB Trade Rumors | O’s eyeing Beltran | Twins push for Nolasco

Death of a Ballplayer: Wrongly convicted prospect spends 27 years in prison

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.