With the conclusion of the 2012 baseball season Sunday night, major league teams will officially begin crossing off items on their offseason to-do lists.
The Phillies' first move of the winter was hardly surprising. On Monday, according to a baseball source, the Phils exercised the club option in Carlos Ruiz's contract.
The 33-year-old Ruiz will earn $5 million in 2013. Ruiz signed a three-year, $8.85 million contract prior to the 2010 season; the deal included a club option for a fourth year.
Bringing back Ruiz, of course, is a no-brainer. In a season where almost everything that could go wrong did for the Phillies, Ruiz was the team MVP with career highs in hitting (.325), OPS (.935), home runs (16) and RBI (68) in 114 games.