It should come as no surprise to anyone the Philadelphia Phillies are renewing catcher Carlos Ruiz‘s option for the 2013 season. Ruiz’s three-year, $8.85 million deal with the team expired after this year but it seemed to be almost a guarantee the team would bring him back for next year, especially at such a team-friendly $5 million option.
Ruiz has made an unbelievable transformation as a hitter over the past several seasons. He was just a .219 hitter who batted eighth in the team’s World Series championship in 2008 but he evolved to being such an instrumental part of the Phillies’ offense that the team hit him fourth in the lineup more times than anywhere else this year.
Despite missing extensive time to plantar fasciitis in his foot, Ruiz set career highs in home runs (16), as well as runs, hits, doubles, and RBIs. He batted .325, a mark that finished sixth-best among National Leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances. Ruiz’s .541 slugging percentage and .936 OPS were each career highs by a significant margin as well, alluding to his overall effectiveness as both a contact hitter and power hitter.
Ruiz played his usual strong defense behind the plate, where he’s one of the best in the business at handling pitchers. Ruiz will be 33 years old by the time next season rolls around but one more year at that price is a must-do for the Phillies, and they knew it. I still think the team may sign him to a multi-year extension of two or so years before he hands the job over to Sebastian Valle.