Keibert Ruiz, Nationals, Agree to 8-Year Deal
The Washington Nationals have locked up their return from the Max Scherzer and Trea Turner trade, catcher Keibert Ruiz, to a team-friendly eight-year contract.
Ruiz and the Nationals agreed to an 8-year/$50 million contract on Friday according to MASN’s Mark Zuckerman.
Nationals fans have to be satisfied to be retaining one of their strong young players early in his career. A move like this shows that management as well as ownership is invested in its future, and not just spiraling out of control like some think they may be.
Ruiz still has five years under team control three of them pre-arbitration. So, the eight-year extension covers all that plus three more years.
This deal is eerily similar to what the Atlanta Braves have been giving their star players. Team-friendly arbitration deals are becoming more of a trend around the league, and this deal is no different.
With that being said, Ruiz’s contract may not have been as expected as some other deals. The 24-year-old catcher had his first effective big league season last year.
While his catching statistics weren’t the best, the Venezuelan player hit the ball well last season in his first real season as a big leaguer. He racked up a modest .673 OPS, with seven home runs and 36 RBIs.
Ruiz was also a consistent bat in the Nationals lineup, fielding 433 plate appearances in 112 games. As a young player on a bad team, Ruiz has time to work out all the nuances of his swing.
The deal will have a 9th and 10th year option, per The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga. Those options carry a $6.25M per year price tag.
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