The Philadelphia Phillies recently re-signed their catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three year deal. The Boston Red Sox had been in the running for the services of Ruiz and it was believed that he could have served as a stopgap until Blake Swihart or Christian Vasquez, two of Boston’s catching prospects, were ready. Ruiz obviously had other plans.
The biggest reason that Ruiz ended up with the Phillies and not the Red Sox is the fact that Boston would not agree to a third year. That was definitely a deal breaker, so Ruiz ended up staying in Philadelphia. However, this could be good news for a player like Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is now a free agent and because he didn’t get a qualifying offer from Boston means that any team that signs him wouldn’t lose a draft pick. Now that Ruiz is off the books, that opens the door wide open for Saltalamacchia.
The market has been set as to what a catcher can get on the free agent market. Saltalamacchia is much younger than Ruiz, he played in more games and he had a significantly better year offensively. About the only comparison between the two could be made on defense where Saltalamacchia is still learning the position, although this year he made significant strides. Ruiz is widely considered to be very good defensively. There seems to be no reason why some team won’t pay Saltalamacchia exactly what he is looking for based on his offense and his ability to handle a pitching staff.
Boston cannot be ruled out in signing him, but they are looking to go no more than two years and Saltalamacchia might be looking for more years for stability. However, at this point, you have to figure that Salty is in the driver’s seat when it comes to negotiating with teams given what the market looks like now.
Carter Roane is a Boston Red Sox writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter@CarterGRoane, “Like”him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.