Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/18/13
Ruben Amaro continues to get the jump on the rest of the market in terms of free agents, re-signing catcher Carlos Ruiz to a three-year deal worth a reported $26 million. He'll make $8.5 million per year, a 70% increase on his 2013 salary of $5 million. The contract also (inexplicably) contains a $4.5 million club option for 2017, when Ruiz will be 38. The contract *also* contains a limited no-trade clause to four (currently unknown) clubs. I'm wondering if Amaro was bidding against himself here. The Rockies were the only team that made a public offer to Ruiz, and they offered him two years and $15 million with a club option for a third year. Ruiz reportedly had a two year, $20 million offer from a team, but their identity was never revealed. The Blue Jays and Red Sox both apparently checked in on Ruiz, but there was no indication that either team made an offer. In 2013, the 34-year old Ruiz hit .268/.320/.368 with five home runs, missing the first 25 games of the season while serving a suspension for Adderall use. After a disastrous first half, Ruiz's power returned in the second half, as his slugging percentage jumped by 130 points while his batting average and on-base percentage stayed remarkably consistent. There are also some injury concerns with Ruiz as he ages. In 2012, he missed 33 games while dealing with plantar fasciitis, and he missed 27 games a year ago with a strained hamstring. With the Phillies being locked in to the injury-prone and highly-paid Ryan Howard at first base, there's really nowhere else for Ruiz to go if he gets hurt. Philadelphia is now at over $135 in payroll commitments (to just eight players, mind you) for 2014, over $110 million in payroll to seven players in 2015, and a mind-numbing over $70 million to just five players in 2016 - including the $2 million on Chase Utley's vesting option. [follow]

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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