Ruiz will be 37 when the 2016 season begins, and there's a good chance he'll only be catching half of the team's games at that point, at the very most. In any event, my initial shock at the length of the contract slowly wore off when I read a few key articles on the signing, basically opining, "Well what else were the Phillies supposed to do?"
Ruiz was reportedly close to signing with the Red Sox and reuniting with Shane Victorino, but Boston wasn't willing to add on a guaranteed third year. Top catching prospect Tommy Joseph missed significant time in 2013 with a concussion and former top catching prospect Sebastian Valle has slowly dropped down the depth charts as he's struggled against minor league pitching. Neither of these guys, nor recent back-ups Erik Kratz or Cameron Rupp, are equipped to be the team's every day catcher in 2014. Guys like Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia were out there, but the Phillies have too much money tied up elsewhere to have made a serious run at either of them.
So Chooch is back, and it will be great to see the familiar #51 behind home plate in 2014. But I wonder if I’ll feel the same way before the start of the 2016 season?
Marlon Byrd (11/12/13) - Signed as a free agent formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates.